AAA Picks 13 Top Cars For 2005; Mustang GT Named Cool Car

Orlando, Fla. – 3/22/2005

AAA has selected 13 vehicles as best in their class, naming them the 2005 AAA Top Cars. The sporty new Ford Mustang has been named AAA’s “Cool Car” of the year.

Twelve categories are based on vehicle cost and type, while one, the Cool Car category, is based on unique characteristics and styling. AAA’s team of evaluators chose the Ford Mustang GT as the Cool Car for 2005 because it combines a great-looking exterior with “solid handling, ample engine power and a snappy interior,” making it “a real head turner.”

AAA evaluates more than 200 vehicles each year, and the top-rated vehicle in each category becomes a AAA Top Car. Reviews of these vehicles can be found online at www.aaa.com. Winning 2005 models and their categories are:

Jaguar XJ Long Wheelbase ($50,000 or more)
Acura RL ($40,000 – $50,000)
Lexus GS ($35,000 – $40,000)
Volvo S80 ($30,000 – $35,000)
Infiniti G35 ($25,000 – $30,000)
Chrysler 300 ($20,000 – $25,000)
Honda Accord ($15,000 – $20,000)
Mazda3 (under $15,000)
Volvo XC90 (SUV over $30,000)
Ford Escape Hybrid (SUV under $30,000)
Honda Odyssey (Minivan)
Honda Ridgeline (Pickup Truck)
Ford Mustang (Cool Car)
“These vehicles offer the best combination of performance, quality and value,” said John Nielsen, director, AAA Auto Buying and Auto Repair Network. “Each one has proven to be a good choice whether you are looking for comfort, workmanship or styling.”

Ratings for each vehicle are based on comprehensive tests conducted under everyday driving conditions. Each vehicle receives up to 5 points in 10 different categories for a maximum of 50 points. Points are awarded for value, fuel economy, braking, ride, handling, passenger environment, cargo space and other criteria.

A list of the 2005 AAA Top Cars can be found on www.aaa.com. From the home page, click on “automotive,” then the AutoMaker function, which assists new-car buyers in building and pricing their own vehicle. From AutoMaker click on “I know what I want.”

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 47 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.

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