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It's that time of year again. Time for just about publication out there to come up with their Car of the Year winner, and Popular Mechanics is getting into the game for the first time with its Auto Excellence Awards. For its inaugural champion, the crew over at PM have named the 2013 Ford Escape as the Car of the Year.

The Ford snagged the top spot for its attributes like being roomy, fun and practical, and PM says that all of its editors had given it high marks in various categories. There is no indication as to what other contenders vied for the top spot, but the new Escape is definitely a strong new model that's showing handsome sales figures right out of the gate. That being said, the automotive landscape for 2013 is chock full of great vehicles, and we recently put the Escape up against the all-new Mazda CX-5 which squeaked out a win in our head-to-head crossover comparison.

In addition to Car of the Year, PM also had nine other categories for its Auto Excellence Awards which are listed below:

Fun to Drive – Subaru BRZ / Scion FR-S
Performance – Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
Hauling – Ram 1500
Luxury – Cadillac ATS
Design – SRT Viper
Versatility – Nissan Pathfinder
Technical Innovation – Tesla Model S
Value – Hyundai Elantra GT
Fuel Efficiency – Toyota Prius c

Ford Escape named first-ever Popular Mechanics Car Of The Year
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