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GM, Hyundai/Kia Take Lead as NACTOY Narrows List of Year’s Best

Annual awards add third category for utility vehicles.

by on Sep.27, 2016

The new Genesis G90 is one of four semifinalists from Hyundai and Korean sibling Kia.

It’s been a busy year for the auto industry, with scores of new cars, trucks and utility vehicles making their debut. And that’s kept the 60 jurors from the North American Car and Truck/Utility of the Year equally busy.

Of the 44 eligible 2017 models, they’ve taken a first cut, narrowing the field down to 29 semifinalists that, for the first time, fall into three separate categories. For the coming model-year, the NACTOY jurors will be selecting winners in three separate categories: Car, Truck and Utility Vehicle.

Award Winner!

The initial cut includes a wide variety of Asian, American and European brands, but two manufacturers stand out, General Motors leading the list with a total of seven nominees, the Hyundai/Kia Motor Group close behind with four separate semifinalists.


NACTOY Jurors Get First Run at Year’s Best New Cars, Trucks and SUVs

New SUV category added for 2017.

by on Jul.06, 2016

The new Rolls-Royce Dawn convertible is one of the most expensive models to ever qualify for the NACTOY ballot.

American motorists have been delivered a bumper crop of new products this year, and that will make for a challenging assignment for the 60 automotive journalists who make up the North American Car and Truck/Utility of the Year jury.

The group of Canadian and American auto writers will have to sort out the very best from a first group of 43 eligible new vehicles covering virtually every possible section of the market. This year’s group includes entry-level offerings, like the Mitsubishi Mirage, all the way up to some of the market’s most expensive and exclusive models, including the Rolls-Royce Dawn.

Award Season Begins!

For only the second time since the NACTOY awards were first launched in 1994, a new category is being added, the winner of the first-time utility-vehicle award set to be announced, along with the top car and truck choices, at the Detroit Auto Show on January 9, 2017.


NACTOY Adds Third Award

Numerous changes with premier annual car/truck awards.

by on Jun.21, 2016

The Range Rover Evoque won the Truck of the Year Award in 2012; however, SUVs will now have their own honor at the Detroit Auto Show.

After more than 20 years, the North American Car and Truck awards will be going through some big changes this year, including the addition of a third award to be presented during the opening ceremony of the Detroit Auto Show next January.

The addition of an award for the best SUV reflects one of the biggest changes to sweep through the U.S. auto industry in decades. Light trucks, in general, now account for about 60% of the American new vehicle market, utility vehicles accounting for the lion’s share of that growth.

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“SUVs’ booming popularity is changing the auto industry,” said Mark Phelan, NACTOY president. “Customers use SUVs for everything from work to family transportation to off-road recreation. The NACTOY jury recognizes that with the new award.” (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.

Breaking News!

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…)

VW Golf, Ford F-150 Nab North American Car, Truck of the Year Awards

Victory bittersweet for Ford as Mustang misses podium.

by on Jan.12, 2015

Joe Hinrichs, Ford's President of the Americas, celebrates winning truck of the year with F-150.

The year is off to a good start for both Volkswagen and Ford Motor Co., the two makers coming home with new trophies as winners of the closely watched North American Car and Truck of the Year awards, with the Golf “family” and the new F-150 pickup.

The announcements came at the opening of this year’s Detroit Auto Show, an event that is likely to see the debut of some of the contenders for next year’s best-of cars, trucks and crossovers, with more than 45 different vehicles set to make their global debut/

A Proven Winner!

For both Ford and VW, Monday’s victories provide more than just another trophy for the closet. They serve as justification for some significant, if risky, strategic moves.


Chevy Colorado Nabs Motor Trend Truck Honors

Midsize model tops Ford’s new F-150.

by on Dec.03, 2014

The 2015 Chevy Colorado wins a big endorsement from Motor Trend with its annual Truck trophy.

In something of a surprise, Chevrolet’s new midsize Colorado pickup truck outgunned the favored Ford F-150 to nab top honors as Motor Trend Truck of the Year.

The decision was a vindication for General Motors which is betting heavily on a revival of the once wildly popular midsize truck segment despite a huge fall-off in demand over the last two decades. GM itself walked away from the segment earlier in the decade before returning with two much more modern offerings, the Chevy Colorado and the near-twin GMC Canyon.

Keep on Truckin'!

“Colorado is a smart, capable, and refreshingly honest truck that makes a strong value and efficiency statement,” declared Motor Trend Editor-in-Chief Ed Loh. “It’s perfectly sized and suited for the needs of many of today’s truck users.”


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.


Ram 1500 Wins Motor Trend Truck of the Year – Again

Chrysler’s big rig delivers body blow to new Chevy Silverado.

by on Dec.04, 2013

The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel.

The full-size Ram 1500 pickup has been named Motor Trend Truck of the Year – a doubly significant victory not only considering all the tough competition this year but for the fact that the Ram is the first-ever back-to-back winner of the widely followed award.

Well, that’s not entirely accurate.  The magazine focused its attention this year on the new EcoDiesel V6 version of the Ram 1500, the market’s first light-duty pickup to offer a high-mileage oil-burner under the hood.

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“Not only did (the Ram diesel) withstand our rigorous testing, it thoroughly impressed our judges with its vast array of standard and optional equipment, and, most notable, its fuel-efficient, segment-exclusive EcoDiesel V-6. With 420 pound-feet of torque and up to 28 ‘Real MPG’ highway, the EcoDiesel is a true game-changer,” said Motor Trend’s Editor-In-Chief Ed Loh.


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.

You're a Winner!

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.