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NACTOY Jurors Make First Cut for Car, Truck of the Year

U.S., Japanese makers land equal numbers on “short list.”

by on Sep.23, 2014

Ford hopes to smoke the competition with the 2015, 50th anniversary remake of the Mustang.

With most of the new 2015 models now in showrooms, and the stragglers soon set to follow, the nearly 60 journalists on the North American Car and Truck jury are beginning to weigh all the options in the hunt for the top products of the year.

Members of the group – which includes this author – were asked to weigh in on dozens of new offerings, from the little Honda Fit to the full-size Ford F-150 in the first of a three-part voting process that will wrap up in time for the annual Detroit Auto Show next January.

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The jurors have culled the original list down to a much more manageable 10 cars and a dozen trucks and utility vehicles. That includes two U.S, three European, three Japanese and two Korean passenger car models. Domestics dominate the truck list, however, with five separate entries, including the Ford F-150 and GM’s new midsize pickups, the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon. The Japanese have four, with European makers landing three models on the truck/utility list.


GM Lands 3 of 6 Finalists for North American Car, Truck of the Year

Mazda, Jeep, Acura also up for honors.

by on Dec.10, 2013

The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is one of three GM models among the NACTOY finalists.

Capping a strong week that included the naming of its first-ever female CEO, General Motors landed three of the six spots in the final round of judging for the coveted North American Car and Truck of the Year awards.

But it has some stiff competition as the NACTOY jury – made up of 48 U.S. and Canadian journalists – prepares for the final round of balloting before the two awards are handed out next month.  Other brands among the contenders are Acura, Jeep and Mazda.

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“Our goal is to select cars and trucks that set new benchmarks in their segment,” explained Joanne Muller, a long-time automotive journalist and NACTOY jury member during a meeting of the Detroit Automotive Press Association, where the finalists were announced.


Jurors Pick “Short List” for North American Car, Truck of the Year

All six new GM offerings make list – more than any other maker.

by on Oct.07, 2013

The 2014 Chevrolet Silverado is one of six GM models to make the NACTOY "short list."

Whatever the polls may say, you have to wait for election day to be sure who’s going to win the big prize. And that goes for the annual North American Car and Truck of the Year balloting which started out with 45 different models in contention – 29 passenger cars and another 16 vehicles in the truck/utility category.

But the 49 U.S. and Canadian journalists who make up the NACTOY jury have held their equivalent of a primary ballot, cutting the original list down to an even two dozen vehicles – and there are a number of surprises in the initial results.

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For one thing, there’s not a single Ford Motor Co. model in either category. But cross-town rival General Motors not only dominated the list this year but landed all six of its new 2014 products in the so-called short-list, among the best showings by any maker in the more than two decades since the widely followed North American Car of the Year program debuted.


Tough Battle Ahead as Nearly 50 Models Vie for North American Car, Truck of the Year

Japanese models dominate both lists.

by on Jul.29, 2013

The new Toyota Corolla is one of 24 Japanese and Korean models up for the two NACTOY awards - half the total list.

Nearly 50 new cars, trucks and crossovers will compete for one of the most closely watched awards of the year. Make that two awards as a panel of U.S. and Canadian journalists begin the long process of winnowing out the winners for the North American Car and Truck of the Year.

The two trophies will be handed next January during the opening of the 2014 Detroit Auto Show’s media preview. It will mark the 21st year for the competition which inevitably triggers a slew of press releases and advertisements as manufacturers race to promote the winners.

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A total of 48 vehicles have landed on the NACTOY long list – though the final number could yet be tweaked. Japanese and Korean carmakers dominate the first-round contenders with a total of 24 models. In an unusual turnabout, the Asians have 10 of the truck and crossover nominees compared to just six Detroit models and two Europeans. The Asians also have 12 passenger car models in the running, tying the Europeans and doubling the number of domestic candidates.


Consumer Reports Names Top Picks

Lots of new models and brands.

by on Feb.27, 2013

Honda returns to the CR Top Picks with three models - including the new Accord sedan.

With 100s of cars, trucks and crossovers on the market and scores of new models making their debut, picking the right vehicle can be something of a daunting task.

Sure, many buyers are loyalists who will trade in for the some product over and over again, but more and more consumers are willing to look elsewhere if it means getting a safer, more reliable, more attractive and more affordable vehicle. And with fuel prices nudging record levels, buyers seem more willing than ever to consider a switch.

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And many of them turn to the non-profit publication Consumer Reports for guidance, especially when the magazine issues its annual Top Picks. Though its list of choices in 10 categories won’t reach print until the April auto issue, CR editors have given a heads-up on what models it they have chosen, models CR declares are “as close as it gets to no-brainers.”


Finalists for North American Car, Truck of the Year Revealed

Detroit lands no finalists in truck category for first time.

by on Dec.15, 2011

Land Rover lands a finalist with the Range Rover Evoque - which goes up against the Honda CR-V and BMW X3.

For the first time ever there will be no Detroit entries among the finalists for North American Truck of the Year – and only one domestic among the Car of the Year finalists.

The all-new Range Rover Evoque, updated Honda CR-V and second-generation BMW X3 grabbed the three top spots among many new truck models tested by the North American Car and Truck of the Year jury – which consists of 50 automotive journalists from the U.S. and Canada.

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The finalists in the car category include Ford Motor Co.’s new “world car,” the Focus, Hyundai’s restyled Elantra and the latest-generation Volkswagen Passat, the first model to roll out of the German maker’s new plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee.