The jury charged with voting on the 2021 North American Car, Truck and Utility Vehicle of the Year (NACTOY) today revealed the nine finalists in the latest contest for the continent’s best new vehicles.
As in past years, the vehicles that made it to the final round of voting are split into car, truck and utility vehicle categories and reflect the diversity of North America’s auto industry. This time around, South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Group is behind a third of the finalist models in the North American Car, Truck and Utility Vehicle of the Year.
In the car category, the Genesis G80 mid-size luxury sedan goes up against the Hyundai Elantra and Nissan Sentra compact cars.
Truck of the Year finalists are the Ford F-150, the Jeep Gladiator Mojave, and the Ram 1500 TRX.
And up for Utility Vehicle of the Year are the Ford Mustang Mach-E, the Genesis GV80 mid-size luxury crossover, and the Land Rover Defender SUV.
Those nine models rose to the top from a field of 27 semifinalists that included the Acura TLX and Kia K5 sedans, and the Cadillac Escalade, Ford Bronco Sport, Toyota RAV4 Prime and Mazda CX-30 SUVs.
Among this year’s jurors are autoTRADER.ca's editor-in-chief, Jodi Lai, and esteemed test drive contributor Lesley Wimbush.
NACTOY said this year’s voting process was made more challenging by the COVID-19 pandemic, which hampered the availability of vehicles, likely due to fleet shutdowns instituted shortly after the pandemic was declared. As a result, NACTOY gave the jury more time to evaluate vehicles and cast their votes; this year’s finalists announcement comes about a month later than usual.
Jurors will cast their final votes for these nine vehicles in early January, and the winners of the individual Car, Truck and Utility Vehicles of the Year awards will be announced on January 11.