Santa's Nice List: Best and Most Well Behaved Automakers of 2015
We’ve given you the best of the worst, but now how about the best of the best! Here’s the top of Santa’s NICE list this year!
Toyota: For giving back with their #selflessselfie Campaign.
Toyota launched a new initiative, #Selflessie, which encourages Instagram users to ditch their typical selfie snapshots in favor of posting a “selfless selfie.” Kicking off on #GivingTuesday, and continuing through January 4, every photo hash tagged on Instagram with #Selflessie will trigger a $50 donation from Toyota to Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA), up to $250,000. Toyota team members at all levels of the organization are active volunteers with the Clubs, including Toyota Financial Services President & CEO, Mike Groff, who serves on the Board of Trustees for Boys & Girls Clubs of America. As the Signature Sponsor of the Youth of the Year program, Toyota is committed to collaborating, investing and elevating BGCA’s industry-leading youth leadership platform. In addition to their Youth of the Year program sponsorship, Toyota has provided a brand new Corolla to the National Youth of the Year winner since 2010, along with financial support to offset the costs of automobile ownership.
In addition to giving back to the community, Santa puts them on the top of his list for leading the way in developing hydrogen-powered cars for the everyman. Toyota plans to do for fuel cells what its Prius did for hybrids: make them ubiquitous and top-of-mind for green-thinking consumers. The automaker is gearing up to introduce its hydrogen-powered sedans in California, Japan, and Germany early next year, banking that an attractive exterior and sporty design will create a market for these cars that emit only water vapor. While other automakers are experimenting with fuel cells as niche vehicles, Toyota is the only one to engineer a global release, making all of its fuel-cell components in house. It has also invested millions of dollars in helping to develop an infrastructure of hydrogen-refueling stations in California.
Subaru: For giving millions to charity in Share the Love Campaign
While not entirely altruistic, Subaru is still giving back none-the-less. Purchase or lease a new Subaru between November 19 and January 2, and we’ll donate $250 to a choice of charities that benefit your community. By the end of this, our eighth year, Subaru and its participating retailers will have donated over $65 million to charity.
Thanks to Share the Love, more than 880 children with life-threatening medical conditions have received their one true wish, and they have contributed over 1.2 million meals to seniors and helped the ASPCA help over 10,000 animals world wide.
Add this to their continued achievements and dedication to having the most vehicles hitting the highest safety ratings and Santa will definitely get them all they’ve wanted and more this Christmas.
Tesla: For making long-range electric cars a quickly expanding reality.
Founder and CEO Elon Musk’s reputation for disruption is well earned. First he showed that battery-powered cars are not only possible but desirable, with sales of the Model S—the company’s first mass-market luxury sedan than can travel 300 miles, at a steady 55mph, on a single charge—growing exponentially in the U.S., China, and across Europe. Now Tesla is building a family, with plans to roll out the Model X, a seven-passenger, all-electric luxury SUV early next year and to develop its more affordable (think: under $35,000) Model III to bring battery power to the common man. To prepare, Tesla is partnering with Panasonic to build a “gigafactory” that will allow Tesla enough battery capacity to build up to half a million vehicles a year. Santa gives extra gifts to companies who care about the environment, and makes it affordable to everyone!
Lexus: Consumer Rating’s Choice for Santa’s Nice List
Getting the best score this year of a 78, Lexus leads the 2015 consumer report for best brand list. The car has also received the highest rating for reliability and a road test score of 76. Customers are never wrong and for this Lexus will be definitely getting a visit from Santa this year!
Google: For taking men away from where men have gone before - Autonomous Vehicle Technology
Although not your typical automaker, Santa salutes Google for being bold enough to put driverless cars on the road. Though cars that drive themselves and will take you anywhere on command are still a couple decades away, Google has been making inroads by refining its software for an autonomous vehicle. Its cars can now recognize—and avoid—objects and people around it, while predicting where, say, 10 pedestrians at a street corner may be headed. Sensors mounted throughout the car can even detect a cyclist’s hand signals and "read" signs like the red octagon held by a crossing guard in a school zone. After testing early versions on its test track, Google plans to put 100 of these cars, sans steering wheel or pedals to accelerate or brake, on the road in California, where it is legal to test driverless cars. The prototype achieves top speeds of just 25 m.p.h, but you’ll still have to buckle up. Next they’ll need to work on eight autonomous flying reindeer, upon the big guy’s request.
Honda: Working hard to improve the safety of their vehicles.
Honda has been working hard in making crash tests more efficient. Honda’s new visualization technology calls into question the assumption that designing a new car needs to be slow. The software, based on the programs used by Hollywood animation studios, allows Honda to study its crash-test simulations with a new degree of precision and realism, removing the crash barrier in the virtual environment to study the impact from myriad points of view. The three-dimensional crash-simulation technology provides engineers with an unprecedented level of analysis by manipulating the rendering to view the crash from multiple angles or remove parts of the vehicle to home in on a specific component.
Stocking Stuffers - A few companies that went the extra mile in hopes Santa wouldn’t pass their houses this year:
Lamborghini: For making the mere two cars you produce seem like a dozen or so thanks to the multitude of special edition models upon special edition models you’ve released. And we love every damn one of them. We can’t keep up with all the Lambos we’ve put on our Christmas list.
Scion: For giving people alternative ways to buy Mazdas and Subarus. Santa’s wallet is a little heavier this year.
Bentley: For proving what the world really needs – a quarter-million dollar SUV that can run upwards of 187 mph, truly peace on earth.
Nissan: For not caving in and creating a new line of lightweight pickup trucks. 7000 lb half tons FTW!
McLaren: For showing the world that British automotive engineering isn’t dead and for making the affordable 570S. You’re on every dad’s midlife crisis Christmas list this year.
Check out Santa's Naughty List: Santa's Top 10 Most Misbehaved Automakers of 2015