One Vote Can Make A Difference
Well, we've done it again. And this time it's to ourselves.
No, I'm not talking about the national election. While I won't know the outcome of that debacle for three more weeks from when I'm writing this, I do know who won our 2009 4x4 of the Year test, and it's far too late to change. The winner won fair and square, on its own accord. Sure, we could have fudged the election as well as our voting process here at the mag, but that's just not our way. And of course, just as with our newly elected president, there will be uproar about our pick either from the readership or the manufacturers that wanted to win the coveted award.
But it's that one vote that's so precious in each race, because one vote can make a difference. In our country the winner is decided by the Electoral College, which may at times differ from the popular vote. If your vote isn't there to begin with, then you have no one to blame but yourself. In our case each vote in each category is factored in as to how important each item is. Each vote or point has a different value depending on what it concerns. In a way it's like the Electoral College, except in our test consistency rules the roost. While one rig may get high marks in one area and low in the other, the consistently higher achieving (and vote-getting) 4x4 is the one that usually comes home with the golden ring-and-pinion award.
So it is with this year's test that we have tightened the parameters and given more weight to the important categories, such as 4x4 Attributes (knobby tires, tow hooks, skidplates, and such), and less to the creature comforts. Our thinking is simple: Would you rather have a switch for an electric locking differential or a switch for a subwoofer? In our minds the choice is obvious. However we do have a diverse group of qualified judges, and votes can be charted all over the place for any particular question. Just like the national presidential race, you just can't always understand everyone's reasoning for choosing a particular side. Unlike the nation, however, we repeat our test every year and refine the process with each test. We don't have more than 227 years of rhetoric to blow through, only the last 27 years of carefully constructed testing. Check out what won this year, and let us know how we did.