It’s a long road til January, when the North American Car, Truck and Utility Vehicle of the Year winners are announced, but the field has been narrowed down to 23 contenders out of a broad field of 2022 models.
The field includes a few models widely expected to survive the first cut, including the Ford Bronco, the Nissan Pathfinder and the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. But there were also some surprises among the first round of semi-finalists.
Fully six of the 23 models are all-electric, including the Mercedes EQS and Volkswagen ID.4, with several others offered with hybrid powertrain options. The Jeep Grand Cherokee, for one, will give buyers a choice of hybrid and plug-in hybrid, as well as conventional gas-powered options.
EVs stand out
The strong showing by those six battery-electric vehicles represents the growing number of BEVs delivering range of as much as 500 miles per charge, said Gary Witzenburg the president of NACTOY. “They’re just more publicly acceptable and becoming more popular with the public,” he said.
The six all-electric models are: in the Car of the Year category, the Lucid Air and Mercedes EQS; the GMC Hummer EV and Rivian R1T in the truck category; and the Hyundai Ioniq 5, and Volkswagen ID.4 in the Utility Vehicle category.
The full list of semifinalists follow. NACTOY’s 50 North American jurors will gather next month in Ann Arbor, Michigan for a three-day driving event giving them a chance to get behind the wheel of all 23 models. A second cut will be announced at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November. The three eventual winners will be revealed in January.
North American Car of the Year
- Audi A3
- Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing
- Genesis G70
- Honda Civic
- Lucid Air
- Mercedes-Benz EQS
- Mercedes-Benz S-Class
- Volkswagen Golf Mk VIII (Golf R/Golf GTI)
North American Truck of the Year
- Ford Maverick
- GMC Hummer EV
- Hyundai Santa Cruz
- Nissan Frontier
- Rivian R1T
- Toyota Tundra
North American Utility Vehicle of the Year
- Ford Bronco
- Genesis GV70
- Hyundai Ioniq 5
- Hyundai Tucson (HEV/ICE/PHEV)
- Jeep Grand Cherokee (ICE, PHEV, L)
- Jeep Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer
- Kia Carnival
- Nissan Pathfinder
- VW ID.4