The Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA), a nonprofit group of automotive journalists and public relations professionals, developed the award to help the consumer make a wise buy when it’s time to shop for a family vehicle. “Choosing a family vehicle is an important decision. It should be affordable, reliable, efficient, and roomy. MAMA pooled its collective expertise to pick the best family vehicle from a strong group of recent releases, and the Chevrolet Impala came out on top of them all,” said award coordinator Damon Bell.
To qualify for the award, vehicles had to have four doors, start at less than $50,000, appear at one of MAMA’s two annual rallies, and be new or significantly updated within a year of the 2013 Spring Rally, which took place last May. The MAMA Spring and Fall rallies feature up to 100 manufacturer vehicles for journalists to drive and evaluate.
Voting took place at each rally, creating a list of 12 2014 contenders: the Acura MDX, Cadillac CTS, Chevrolet Impala, Dodge Durango, Fiat 500L, Hyundai Santa Fe, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep Cherokee, Mazda Mazda3, Mazda Mazda6, Nissan Pathfinder, and Subaru Forester.
MAMA members then took part in the final vote. A total of 76 automotive journalists voted the 2014 Chevrolet Impala the winner with 17 first-place votes and 87 total points, beating out the 2014 Mazda Mazda6, which garnered 11 first-place votes and 58 total points. The 2014 Cadillac CTS placed third with seven first-place votes and 45 total points.
In each round of voting, three points were awarded for a first-place vote, two points were given for a second-place vote and third-place votes were valued at one point each.
Voting for the 2015 Family Vehicle of the Year award will begin at the 2014 MAMA Spring Rally, which is scheduled for May 21-22 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. The Fall Rally is set for October 1 at the Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, Illinois.