WILDCARD WIN

Matthew Schrader, via Facebook

The Mazda CX-9 is a worthy Wheels Car of the Year winner.

I thought it would come down to the Audi A4, the CX-9, or the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. All three manufacturers have styling, engineering, and interior quality that is best in class; I had the A4 as taking the win from a head perspective, and the E-Class from the heart. Saying from the heart. Saying that, I think Mazda has been one of the most interesting, consistent, and innovative manufacturers of the last five to 10 years, especially since going down the SkyActiv path. They really have thrown off those Ford shackles and not looked back.