The votes are in and we have this year’s North American Car, Truck and Utility of the Year winners.
The Chevrolet Bolt was named the Car of the Year at the Detroit Auto Show this week. Auto journalists awarded Truck of the Year to Honda’s Ridgeline, while the Chrysler Pacifica, which is actually a minivan, was crowned as 2017’s best “Utility Vehicle.”
The trifecta was recognized at Detroit’s Cobo Center’s atrium in front of a crowd of automotive journalists and industry executives, launching two days of press previews at the North American International Auto Show.
2017 Chevy Bolt: North American Car of the Year
As pretty much a surprise to no one, the Bolt beat out the Audi R8, Mercedes-Benz S550 Maybach and Toyota Prius Prime. It also gave Chevy its first NACTOY victory since 2014. The Bolt is the first electric vehicle offered for under $40,000 to manage a range better than 200 miles on a single charge. This is only its latest award. It’s made Car and Driver’s Top Ten List and it’s also been named Motor Trend’s Car of the Year.
2017 Honda Ridgeline: North American Truck of the Year
Honda’s Ridgeline beat out the Ford F-150 Raptor and new Super Duty. (The F-150 series has been America’s best-selling pickup for the past 40 years.) The Ridgeline also won the award in 2006 and was again praised for its superior on-road handling. I have reviewed the Ridgeline and you can see it on our website.
2017 Chrysler Pacifica: North American Utility Vehicle of the Year
This year’s sport utility category is new for the NACTOY awards. While it was the only vehicle of the eleven finalists that wasn’t a crossover or SUV, the Chrysler Pacifica overcame heavyweights like the very popular Jaguar F-Pace and Mazda CX-9. The Pacifica gained a lot of publicity recently as North America’s first-ever hybrid-electric minivan, with an ability to travel up to 30 miles on just its battery.
NACTOY is the only independent automotive award, made up of journalists from many different publications. Competing vehicles are judged on innovation, technology, safety, design, overall performance, value for money, and driver satisfaction.
The three finalists were selected by 57 automotive journalists from a list of 15 cars, 11 utility vehicles and four pickups. The list was larger a few months ago, but was pared down for the final selections.