New England Motor Press Association Awards 2021 Suburban
Wayne Carini attempted to Present the Chevrolet Suburban with the "Best-in-class Full-Size SUV Award" - but Chevrolet didn't show up...

The New England Motor Press Association, known as NEMPA, has awarded the 2021 Chevrolet Suburban the title of “Best In Class Full-Size SUV” during its annual awards ceremony earlier this week.

For over 30 years, NEMPA has been the exclusive automotive press organization for the New England area. Focusing on winter driving prowess and windy back-road capability, their annual awards ceremony places the mantle on the most capable cars, trucks, and SUVs in the industry. Special emphasis is also placed on how well the vehicles perform during grueling New England Winters and for the day-to-day use families in New England would place on their vehicles.

The event has been hosted by legendary TV personality, Wayne Carini, for the last 10-years.

So how does NEMPA figure out which vehicles they will present as the best of the best for New England drivers? It’s grueling and takes months of back-to-back comparisons. Writers, personalities, and radio show hosts who are members of the organization drive every vehicle on the market over the course of an entire year. Two one-day events, in February and July, give members a chance to compare vehicles back to back in winter and summer weather. The rest of the year, members drive vehicles on a daily basis and regularly switch out so they can sample every entrant.

During the February event, the group as a whole meets and discusses their favorites. Members share their thoughts openly during an all-hands-on-deck, invite-only, deliberation session (over lunch). Then, secret ballots are cast and the winners are decided by popular vote.

To win a NEMPA award is special and they are not given out lightly. Automakers have to deliver a truly special vehicle to even be considered and the competition is fierce. Jurors evaluate around 75 vehicles during any given year to contemplate for award selection.

No money is given for consideration or entry to the awards. No juror is compensated in any way. When the dust settles, consumers can look at the award winners list and know that the honorees represent the best of the best- unbiased in execution.

Winners – 2021 NEMPA Vehicle Awards  & Official Winter Vehicles of New England

Overall Winners:

  • Ford Mustang Mach-E – Official Winter SUV of New England
  • RAM 1500 – Official Winter Pickup Truck of New England
  • Genesis G90 – Official Winter Sedan of New England

Best In Class Winners:

  • Jeep Gladiator – Best in Class Mid-Size Pickup Truck
  • Ford F-150 – Best in Class Full-Size Pickup Truck
  • Mazda CX-30 – Best in Class Sub-Compact SUV / Crossover
  • Toyota RAV4 – Best in Class Compact SUV / Crossover
  • Kia Telluride – Best in Class Mid-Size SUV / Crossover (tie)
  • Hyundai Palisade – Best in Class Mid-Size SUV / Crossover(tie)
  • Chevrolet Suburban – Best in Class Full-Size SUV
  • Subaru Outback – Best in Class All-Wheel-Drive Wagon
  • Toyota Camry AWD – Best in Class All-Wheel Drive Sedan
  • Acura RDX – Best in Class Premium Compact SUV / Crossover
  • Genesis GV80 – Best in Class Premium Mid-Size SUV / Crossover
  • Lincoln Navigator – Best in Class Premium Full-Size SUV / Crossover
  • Mercedes-Benz E-Class (E 350 4MATIC) – Best in Class Premium All-Wheel Drive Sedan / Wagon
  • Chrysler Pacifica – Best in Class People Mover
  • Rolls-Royce Ghost – Best in Class Ultimate All-Wheel Drive Sedan

Chevrolet Didn’t Accept Their Award

Since the awards ceremony didn’t happen last year in 2020, this year’s awards dinner was special and heavily anticipated. Representatives from Ford, Kia, Hyundai, Acura, Honda, Subaru, Rolls-Royce, BMW, Genesis, Kia, Toyota, Jeep, and more attended. Only Mazda and Chevrolet couldn’t be there in person.

Mazda planned on attending but a last-minute issue prevented them from showing up to accept their award. They gracefully asked a member of the voting team to accept the award on their behalf.

Chevrolet and General Motors, however, declined to attend from the start and did not attempt to accept their award at all. But as luck would have it, at the end of the day, the staff here at took the award home and will attempt to get it to Chevrolet in the future.

Disclaimer: Zane Merva is a member of the Board of Directors for the New England Motor Press Association