Press Release Names Best Lifestyle Vehicles

Winners Include Best Cars for Work, Play, Families and Eco-Friendliness's expert automotive reviewers got behind the wheel in dozens of vehicles this year and have selected their favorites in a variety of lifestyle segments as part of the site's 2010 Lifestyle Awards. Winners include the Eco-Friendly Car of the Year, 2010 Toyota Prius; Family Car of the Year, 2010 Ford Flex; Work Car of the Year, 2010 Ford F-150; and Play Car of the Year, 2010 Mazda MX-5 Miata.

Developed to recognize the vehicles that are best suited for the lifestyle needs of today's car buyers, the Lifestyle Awards highlight the top choices from's Lifestyle Buying Guide. This site feature helps shoppers identify the right car for them based on their personal lifestyle needs, whether they're looking to purchase a new car for a growing family, a ride for weekend fun or a set of wheels that can withstand the rigors of a long commute. The guide features expert picks from's editors, based on their unbiased experiences in dozens of test drives and their evaluation of criteria most important to shoppers in each lifestyle category.

" recognizes that buying a car is a huge investment and it's essential for consumers to make the right decision," said Patrick Olsen, editor in chief at "While some consumers know exactly what vehicle or type of vehicle they want, some just know they need a new car. Our Lifestyle Buying Guide lets shoppers search for cars across many different categories, allowing them to compare sedans to trucks to SUVs to minivans to find the car that best matches their intended driving experience."

About the 2010 Lifestyle Award Winners:
- Eco-Friendly Car of the Year, 2010 Toyota Prius: The third-generation Prius improves upon a model that effectively transformed the nameplate into an American mainstay. The new Prius packs more power and better gas mileage -- 50 mpg in combined EPA estimates. Best of all, it now feels like a substantial car, ready for family outings or interstate road trips. While there are more fuel efficient options than ever before, there's no denying this: The Prius is still the most fuel-efficient, gas-powered, mass-produced car you can buy.

- Family Car of the Year, 2010 Ford Flex: Ford's Flex crossover didn't start to sell like hotcakes after we named it Family Car of the Year last year, and we're still not sure why it isn't winning over more people. We can't count the number of times that car shoppers ask us to recommend a minivan or SUV alternative to haul the family, and the Flex is our choice for that perfect alternative. We've gone so far as loading up one of our own families on a cross-country roadtrip in the Flex, where the comfort lifted it to victory over its competition.

- Work Car of the Year, 2010 Ford F-150: Not only does the F-150 have the kind of stout capability you demand from a pickup, but it brings to the segment useful technology features to make your life on the job easier. Ford redesigned the F-150 last year, giving it a stronger frame and more powerful V-8 engines. The changes mean this pickup has some serious towing capability. When your office is the cab of a pickup truck, it has to meet more than the needs of the everyday buyer, and the Ford F-150 does.

- Play Car of the Year, 2010 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Yep, if you went to a racetrack you'd find cars faster than the Miata. But you don't live on a racetrack, so don't you think it'd be better to have a car that's fun to drive to the grocery store? Meet your car. It's so low-slung that you'd be forgiven for thinking you're getting into a racecar. The gearshift is super-slick, and the steering is so quick you think your way through turns. Throw the top down, blip the throttle and head out anywhere. Before you know it, you'll be shifting up through the gears just so you can shift back down again. You'll find yourself going miles out of your way to find a curvy road. It really is that much fun. If you don't have a smile on your face after driving this car, seek professional help.

In addition to the overall award winners, recognizes winners in a number of sub-categories. Vehicles with outstanding performance at a value price are also recognized with a Best Deal award in each category. Winners include:

EcoFriendly Cars: Eco-Friendlycars considered include gas/electric hybrids, diesel cars and even a few fuel-sipping gas-only cars. Best Deal for Eco-Friendly Drivers, 2010 Toyota Yaris

Family Cars: Families come in all shapes and sizes. With that in mind, recognized the top new cars for a variety of family needs. Best Car for Small Families, 2010 Subaru Forester Best Deal for Small Families, 2010 Ford Fusion Best Car for Large Families, 2010 Ford Flex Best Deal for Large Families, 2010 Toyota Sienna Best Car for First-Time Drivers, 2010 Honda Fit Best Deal for First-Time Drivers, 2010 Toyota Yaris

Work Cars: For some drivers, a car just gets them to the job, and for others it does the job. selected cars that can help everyone from commuters to haulers -- even the boss. Best Car for Commuters, 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid Best Deal for Commuters, 2010 Toyota Corolla Best Car for Hard Workers, 2010 Ford F-150 Best Deal for Hard Workers, 2010 Toyota Tacoma Best Car for The Boss, 2010 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Best Deal for The Boss, 2010 Hyundai Genesis

Play Cars: Whether you're driving into the sunset, hauling a boat to the bay or lugging a mountain bike to a race, there's a car built for every adventure. Best Car for Sun Lovers, 2010 Mazda MX-5 Miata Best Deal for Sun Lovers, 2010 Jeep Wrangler Best Car for Off Roaders, 2010 Jeep Wrangler Best Deal for Off Roaders, 2010 Subaru Forester Best Car for Weekend Athletes, 2010 Honda Element Best Deal for Weekend Athletes, 2010 Subaru Impreza Best Fun to Drive Car, 2010 BMW M3 Best Deal for Fun to Drive Cars, 2010 Mazda3

About the Lifestyle Awards:
Launched to recognize new vehicles that best suit the lifestyles of today's car shoppers, the Lifestyle Awards acknowledge the best cars across a number of categories that car shoppers can identify with based on their personal vehicle needs.

Award winners were selected by's expert reviewers and unbiased editorial staff from the field of editors' picks in the Lifestyle Buying Guide. All vehicles in this guide first had to be selected as Best Bets, meaning they were among the model year's best offerings in their vehicle segment. From there, the team tapped into knowledge drawn from their time with the cars to decide which vehicle best met the criteria and intent of the lifestyle category at hand. For small families, for example, safety was a paramount concern, along with seating. In choosing the best deal for each lifestyle category, the reviewers looked at which cars offered the best bang for the buck. To view comprehensive awards criteria, visit Additionally, behind-the-scenes insight into the award selection process and inside debate can be found on's blog, KickingTires,

About is the leading destination for online car shoppers, offering credible, easy-to-understand information from consumers and experts to help buyers formulate opinions on what to buy, where to buy and how much to pay for a car. With comprehensive pricing information, side-by-side comparison tools, photo galleries, videos, unbiased editorial content and a large selection of new- and used-car inventory, puts millions of car buyers in control of their shopping process with the information they need to make confident buying decisions.

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