Lincoln is back again in the NACTOY finals. This year its new Aviator SUV made the final cut.

The jury is in – well, almost.

We won’t learn who takes home the trophies for North American Car, Truck and Utility Vehicle of the Year until mid-January, but the 50 journalist members of the jury did reveal the nine finalists for the eagerly sought awards, three in each of the categories.

Jurors – including myself – have spent much of the year driving and experiencing one of the largest crops of new products ever launched in a single model-year, the current list of finalists coming out of a nearly week-long drive event in Michigan last month.

Marking the lead-up to NACTOY’s 27th round of awards, the list of finalists was just slightly dominated by domestic models – but only because Detroit manufacturers captured all three of the spots in the truck category. Korean marques Hyundai and Kia had three of the remaining six spots. Notably, Japanese automakers took only one of the nine finalist positions.

The list includes:

GM’s Mark Reuss might get to celebrate another North American Car of the Year award.

Passenger Cars:

  • The eighth-generation Chevrolet Corvette, the first-ever model to go mid-engine – and the winner of the Motor Trend Car of the Year award announced this past week;
  • The reborn Toyota Supra, another widely hailed sports car, developed as part of an unusual joint venture between Toyota and BMW; and
  • The Hyundai Sonata, the latest generation of the Korean carmaker’s midsize sedan.

Utility Vehicles:

  • The Hyundai Palisade, the automaker’s biggest and most lavishly equipped SUV ever;
  • The Kia Telluride, a three-row SUV that shares the basic underpinnings of the Palisade but delivers a slightly different look and feel;
  • The Lincoln Aviator, a new, three-row utility vehicle that is being hailed as the luxury brand’s best new product in years.

Trucks:

  • The reborn Ford Ranger, the latest entrant into the resurgent midsize pickup segment;
  • The Jeep Gladiator, another midsize model and the first pickup from the off-road brand in decades; and
  • The Ram HD pickup, one of an assortment of new heavy-duty full-size models.

The winners of the North American Car, Truck and Utility Vehicle awards – mercifully shortened to NACTOY – will be announced on Jan. 13, 2020, at 8 a.m. at Detroit’s Cobo Hall.

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