Connected vehicles are quite literally driving us into the future of a very different connected society than anyone could have truly ever imagined. The automotive OEM (original-equipment manufacturer) world has a reputation for being a bit behind the eight ball when it comes to connectivity (thanks to lengthy product-development cycles). But as smartphone integration becomes standard across many makes and models and as innovative sensor-enabled safety solutions move the needle toward autonomous driving, the automobile industry is rapidly changing and so too are the players. Today’s carmakers are partnering with the likes of companies like Google and Apple. Companies like Tesla, Uber, AT&T, Verizon, and other network providers are changing the game.

As tech evolves, we are reading more and more articles that are focusing on cutting-edge solutions that are pushing the boundaries of self-driving and autonomous vehicles.

In the meantime, we are celebrating today’s highly successful vehicles by choosing the Connected World Connected Car of the Year. As in year’s past, we’ve selected one vehicle in the following categories: Small, Midsize, Luxury, Ultra Luxury, Green, and Truck. We’ve chosen the winners based on multiple factors that span safety, convenience, and infotainment. Several of the 2016 selections are repeats from previous years, including the Tesla Model S and the Ford F-150, but we’re pleased to welcome a Chevy to the lineup in the midsize category. If you’re in the market for a vehicle in 2016, we highly recommend checking out the following Connected Cars of the Year.

The winners for the 2016 Connected Car of the Year are as follows:

PhotosWinning Vehicles (click here to learn more)
Ford Fiesta
Small Category
If you’re wondering what’s new in Ford’s 2016 vehicle lineup, including the Ford Fiesta, it’s SYNC 3 with an exclamation point. If you’re wondering what’s new about SYNC 3, it’s everything. New hardware and new software equal a new design, a new interface, and, of course, new advanced features that are designed to keep drivers safer and more connected behind the wheel.
Chevy Malibu
Midsize Category
Introduced more than 50 years ago, the Chevy Malibu has become an unmistakable part of this era in automotive history. But in today’s connected driving experience, automakers must continually evolve if they want to attract a new generation of consumers to their brands. With the 2016 Malibu, Chevy has taken it up a notch, offering a fresh appeal to midsize car drivers who want fuel economy, comfort, and connectivity.
Audi A6
Luxury Category
When it comes to luxury sedans, German engineering delivers year after year. In 2016, Connected World editors are drawn to the Audi A6, an elegant player in the luxury category. Audi says brilliance is in the eye of the driver and the A6’s various driver-assistance technologies—ranging from safety to infotainment—prove the company’s commitment to perfecting the driving experience.
CCOY_web_Mercedes_S_class_2016Mercedes-Benz S-Class Sedan
Ultra Luxury Category
In the ultra-luxury category, there can be fewer compromises. Consumers expect beauty, class, comfort, performance, and state-of-the-art technology. Mercedes-Benz advertises its S-Class Sedan as a state-of-the-art automobile that delivers on all fronts. In fact, the automaker says the S-Class mission is simple: to advance every standard by which cars are measured and, in doing so, to elevate the “fine art of driving.”
Tesla Model S
Green Category
All hail the Queen of Green—the Tesla Model S. Tesla has taken the green category in Connected World’s Connected Car of the Year awards every year since we started, and that’s because it consistently outcompetes everything else. Model S offers zero emissions and zero compromise. It’s a driver’s car that is meticulously engineered to offer the latest technology in every respect.
Ford F-150
Truck Category
The 2016 Ford F-150 has a military-grade aluminum alloy body, 12,200-pound max towing, 3,270-pound max payload, 22 combined mpg gas mileage as estimated by the EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency), and a five-star crash test rating from the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Admin.). Not bad. Add to these accolades the fact that Ford’s F-150 has won a Connected World Connected Car of the Year award in the truck category for three years running, and it’s safe to say that Ford has a good thing on its hands.

To read full article, download the Connected World app in the Apple App Store or Google Play by searching for Connected World.

To view the press release click here.

Previous Winners: 2015