Passing into their hands the fate of the most prestigious automobile award in Russia, we had no doubt at all - today's audience at the wheel is able to judiciously and competently judge not only the technical features, but also the market prospects of a particular model.
The course of the competition only strengthened our confidence: during the campaign “Who will challenge the leader?” The editorial office received more than 43 thousand profiles from 85 regions of Russia. Readers determined the winning models in six classes of cars. There are four nominees in each. Two models - those who took first and second places in the class according to the results of sales in 2004, the third - the choice of visitors to the “Driving” website who expressed their opinion for several months. The fourth model was nominated by the editorial board, “Driving,” based on its promise - the ability to challenge class leaders in the near future. Cars were compared in pairs according to seven criteria. Readers have done a tremendous job! The fight, especially in some classes, was serious. But the victory gained in rivalry with worthy competitors is especially expensive and honorable!
Well, the seventh prize in the “Breakthrough of the Year” nomination was traditionally awarded by a competent jury.
Thanks to our readers - the most active group of Russian motorists, we received a huge layer of information about their requirements and priorities when choosing a purchase, about plans to purchase a particular model. We will surely introduce readers and management of interested firms to the detailed results of the survey.
In the meantime … The Grand Prix award ceremony was a holiday not only for representatives of companies whose models won readership. Fortune smiled broadly at the three members of the jury. In the summer, an editorial computer (by the way, in the presence of several readers) chose those who were right here, in the Crocus Expo hall, from the hands of the leaders of automobile companies, got the keys to new cars. The owner of Skoda Octavia was Gennady Emelyanov from the city of Shakhty, Rostov Region. At the Hyundai Accent, Alexander Kolyasnikov left for Yekaterinburg. "Mitsubishi Lancer" went to a resident of the Moscow Region Elena Goryacheva. Congratulations!
But the cars - the winners of the Grand Prix are still hidden under covers. Many guests try to guess their names at least according to the contours of the bodies, although only a few minutes before the successive removal of covers. The huge, filled to capacity hall calms down. So, the Grand Prix “At the wheel” was awarded …
In the small class, Hyundai Getz won an unconditional victory, gaining more than 37% of the readers' votes. Great success - after all, Getz is only the third year on the market! The second place (28.6%) was won by Lada Kalina. So far, few cars have been produced, so a high consumer rating is more likely an advance. It is interesting that members of the people's jury particularly noted the design of the Togliatti novelty. In third place they put “Daewoo Matiz”: he lagged behind “Kalina” by less than 3%.
The victory of the Ford Focus in the compact class was predictable - guaranteed by impressive sales. Having received a record 40.7%, he became a leader - not a single model gathered more votes. Renault Logan, the runner-up, was 13.5% behind Focus. However, he still has everything ahead: only the first hundreds of cars entered the roads of Russia. But most readers would not want to connect their future with VAZ products. 19.3% voted for the VAZ 2110 family, and 12.9% voted for Samara. This is a signal: the plant should update its lineup faster.
In the middle class “Golden Pegasus” - at “Toyota-Avensis”, which was preferred by 33.6% of readers who sent the questionnaire to the editorial office. Mazda 6, quickly gaining popularity, came in second place. Her 27% of the vote is a very good result. Less than 2% Mazda ahead of Nissan Primera. The Hyundai Elantra, which became the fourth, gained a little more than 14% of the vote.
In the business class, the struggle for primacy was the most intense. Its outcome in favor of the BMW 5 Series was decided by a little more than 1% of the vote - Toyota Camry, which became the second, was so small. Hyundai Sonata took third place with 23.3% of the vote. On the fourth - “Volga”, gaining 9.3%.
The most even results in a luxury class. The only sales leader of 2004, defended the championship, - “Mercedes-Benz S”: gaining a little more than 28% of the vote, he received the Grand Prix “Driving”. But the Mercedes, to which Russia has a special relationship, is not much ahead of worthy competitors. BMW 7 Series became the second (25.4%), Audi A8 - the third (24.5%), Lexus LS 430 - the fourth (22.1%).
In the off-road class, literally the last letters helped to choose the winner. Toyota-RAV4 was ahead of Volkswagen Tuareg, although only 1.1% (33.8% versus 32.7%): Golden Pegasus flaunted on its hood. Hyundai Tussan, which attracted 21.6% of readers, became the third, Chevrolet Niva (12% of the vote) - fourth.
In the “Breakthrough of the Year” nomination, a surprise awaited not only applicants for awards, but also the editors! This has not happened before: out of thirteen votes, LUKOIL received five, and Avtoframos the same. Unexpectedly, but quite rightly! Both firms really deserve the Grand Prix. And we gladly got one more out of the bushes - the eighth prize!
We hope that the Grand Prix awarded to LUKOIL will give impetus to new initiatives and projects aimed at improving the environment. The Grand Prix of Avtoframos for the development of Renault Logan is symbolic not only for the Russian market. In fact, this is an international recognition of the efforts of the French company Renault and its affiliates to create a modern, accessible, affordable car.
Eight Golden Pegasus scattered, finding worthy hosts. Thanks to all members of the jury. Once again, congratulations to the winners of the Grand Prix “Driving” - 2005! See you in 2006!
The jury of the Grand Prix “At the wheel” in the nomination “Breakthrough of the year” Yuri Mikhailovich Baturin, astronaut, hero of Russia.
Volsky Arkady Ivanovich, President of the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of Russia.
Gref German Oskarovich, Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Russia.
Kirienko Sergey Vladilenovich, Plenipotentiary Representative of the President of the Russian Federation in the Volga Federal District.
Levitin Igor Evgenievich, Minister of Transport of Russia.
Luzhkov Yuri Mikhailovich, mayor of Moscow.
Morozov Oleg Evgenievich, Deputy Chairman of the State Duma of the Russian Federation.
Panyarsky Victor Vladimirovich, President of the National Association of Publishers of Russia.
Pozner Vladimir Vladimirovich, President of the Academy of Russian Television.
Primakov Evgeni Maksimovich, President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation.
Khakamada Irina Mitsuovna, public figure.