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Honda, Volvo and Lincoln Take 2018 NACTOY Honors

Honda wins car honor, but Kia Stinger makes biggest splash.

by on Jan.15, 2018

Honda's Henio Archangeli enjoys the win in the 2018 North American Car of the Year Award in Detroit. (Photo credit: Brendan Strong)

In what was seen as the most unpredictable set of choices in the 24 years of the NACTOY Awards, Honda Volvo and Lincoln pulled out wins on Monday morning, marking the start of the 2018 North American International Auto Show.

The highly coveted awards, which new vehicle buyers can expect to start hearing about in a flood of online, television and radio ads almost immediately, are considered influential among new vehicle buyers.

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“We have an incredibly broad set of vehicles this year,” said Mark Phelan, president of the North American Car and Truck of the Year, adding, “I’ve never had less of a clue of who I think would win” before being handed the results of the secret ballot. (more…)

GM, VW Lead Pack in Battle for North American Car, Truck, Utility Vehicle of the Year Honors

But U.S. brands go empty-handed in passenger-car category.

by on Jul.06, 2017

The Chevrolet Equinox is one of five GM models up for NACTOY awards - but none in the Car category.

General Motors and Volkswagen dominate this year’s first cut as members of the North American Car, Truck and Utility Vehicle of the Year jury get down to comparing the dozens of new models coming to market through the end of 2017.

But while Detroit’s Big Three have a strong representation, overall, in the three categories jurors will consider, the big surprise is that there’s not a single piece of Motown sheet metal in the passenger car category. Asian and European manufacturers will have to shoot things out there. All told, Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will have nine entries in the truck and utility categories.

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That’s no surprise, perhaps, considering current market trends, light trucks – including pickups, vans and utility vehicles – accounting for nearly two-thirds of U.S. new vehicle sales. FCA going so far as to halt production of all passenger car models in the United States.


Honda Civic, Volvo XC90 Land North America Car, Truck/Utility of the Year

“There are no bad cars anymore.”

by on Jan.11, 2016

Volvo's Lex Kerssemakers accepts the North American Truck of the Year award for the company's XC90 sport-ute. Photo credit: Len Katz

Even before the first official debut of the annual North American International Auto Show, Honda and Volvo had plenty of reason to celebrate. The two makers took top honors in a highly competitive field of finalists for the North American Car and Truck of the Year.

This year, top honors went to the 2016 Honda Civic, the North American Car of the Year, with the new 2016 Volvo XC90 taking honors as the North American Truck/Utility of the Year.

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Now marking their 24th year, the NACTOY awards are considered among the most prestigious and influential in the country, reflecting the diverse opinions of 54 U.S. and Canadian journalists who spent months comparing and contrasting close to 100 of the newest cars, trucks and crossover vehicles. (more…)

North American Car, Truck of Year Finalists Announced

Big Three only gets one nominee this year.

by on Dec.08, 2015

The 2016 Nissan Titan XD will come in five grades, including this Pro 4X version. It's also a finalist for North American Truck of the Year.

Three cars and three trucks have been named finalists in the North American Car and Truck of the Year competition, which will culminate in an announcement of the winners in both categories at the opening of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The finalists for the car of the year are the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu, Mazda MX-5 Miata and Honda Civic, while the list of truck and utility vehicles nominees include the Volvo XC90, Nissan Titan XD and Honda Pilot.

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Lindsay Brooke, one of the 53 NACTOY jurors who presented the nominees during a luncheon hosted by the Detroit’s Automotive Press Association, said the challenge for this year’s jurors was the large number of new vehicles that debuted during 2016. Forty-nine new vehicles made their debut during the year. (more…)

GM Tops List of Semi-Finalists for North American Car, Truck of the Year

Maker lands four passenger cars on list – but not a single truck model.

by on Sep.28, 2015

The new 2016 Chevrolet Camaro is one of four GM passenger cars on the NACTOY Short List.

In what is either the sign of the apocalypse or a corporate transformation, General Motors has landed for of its new models on the “Short List” for North American Car of the Year. But the irony is that for a maker long known for its ho-hum cars and more competitive truck models, there’s nary a single GM CUV, SUV or pickup on the Truck of the Year list.

There are a variety of surprises among the choices for this year’s North American Car and Truck of the Year, with Korean carmakers Kia and Hyundai landing three of their offerings making the first cut – the winners set to be announced next January during the opening session of the 2016 North American International Auto Show.

Top of the List!

Known more commonly as NACTOY, the two awards, one for best car, the other for best truck or utility vehicle, are determined by votes from 57 North American automotive journalists representing a wide array of outlets, from enthusiast and insider publications to social media.


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.


Recall of 370,000 Pickups Couldn’t Come at Worse Time for GM

Embarrassing setback as Chevy Silverado vies for Car of the Year honors.

by on Jan.11, 2014

What could have been a great week for the Chevy Silverado now has an ominous omen hanging over it.

Just days before it learns whether its 2014 Chevrolet Silverado pickup wins honors as the North American Truck of the Year, General Motors has announced it is recalling 370,000 full-size trucks due to a potential fire hazard.

The safety action covers both the new Chevy Silverado and the near-twin GMC Sierra model, both receiving widespread kudos since being completely redesigned for the 2014 model-year. But the recall could be just one of the problems the new GM pickups will be facing in the coming days.

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According to GM, the recall is required to reprogram engine control software to reduce the risk of overheating exhaust components and eliminate the risk of an engine compartment fire. The Detroit maker reports that there have been eight fires resulting from the problem, “three of which were on customer owned vehicles.”


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.