North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year Finalists

NACTOY Finalists

We now know which nine finalists are vying for the prestigious title of 2020 North American Car of the Year, Utililty of the Year and Truck of the Year (NACTOY). The list of finalists, chosen from a field of 29 semi-finalists, was announced at the LA Auto Show.

This year, the field of semi-finalists included 12 models in the car category, 12 utilities and five trucks. Of note, two of the SUV finalists are siblings and share a powertrain, the 2020 Hyundai Palisade and 2020 Kia Telluride.

Two Fiat Chrysler vehicles make the list, as does two all-new sports cars, the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette and Toyota Supra.

Car of the Year Utility Vehicle of the Year Truck of the Year
Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Hyundai Palisade Ford Ranger
Hyundai Sonata Kia Telluride Jeep Gladiator
Toyota Supra Lincoln Aviator Ram Heavy Duty

Check out our reviews of the 2020 Kia Telluride, 2020 Ford Ranger, 2020 Jeep Gladiator and 2019 Ram 2500 Power Wagon.

Fifty jurors voted on the awards that were audited by Deloitte LLP, NACTOY’S accounting firm of record. Those results were kept confidential until they were revealed on stage today at AutoMobility LA by NACTOY’s officers. To be eligible, vehicles must be all-new or substantially new and must be available at dealerships before the end of the year.

“Every year, manufacturers continue to produce impressive styling and high-quality vehicles with improved safety, more features, more performance and better efficiency. Our job is to evaluate each eligible vehicle and help consumers make wiser choices by presenting the best in each category,” NACTOY President Lauren Fix said.

Every year, NACTOY’S jurors vote on the finalists after they spend months driving dozens of new vehicles throughout the year. To be eligible, vehicles must be all-new or substantially new and must be available at dealerships before the end of the year.

“Competition in the red-hot utility category is especially tough, with entries from a variety of mainstream and luxury classes, including a strong set of three-row crossovers and a new electric SUV,” said NACTOY Secretary/Treasurer Kirk Bell. “We look forward to seeing which vehicle our jurors think is best for buyers.”

While the total number of eligible truck models was smaller, the category remains intensely competitive.

“Trucks continue to be the backbone of the North American auto industry, both in terms of sales numbers and profits,” NACTOY Vice President Chris Paukert said. “This year we have a particularly diverse slate of competitors, from heavy-duty, full-size work trucks to play-hard midsize offerings for weekend warriors. It’s a great year to be a truck buyer.”

Jurors’ evaluate the finalists based on segment leadership, innovation, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction and value for the dollar. The process started in June 2019 by determining vehicle eligibility and includes three rounds of voting. Jurors voted on the finalists after gathering in Ann Arbor, Michigan in October to test drive the semi-finalist vehicles.

Now in their 26th year, the awards are unique because — instead of being given by a single publication, website, radio or television station — they are selected by a jury of automotive journalists from numerous outlets in the United States and Canada.

The winners of the awards will be presented at 8 a.m. on Jan. 13, 2020 at the TCF Center in Detroit in a partnership with the Detroit Auto Dealers Association and the North American International Auto Show.
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