The North American Car and Truck of the Year Awards, NACTOY for short, were a fixture of Detroit’s North American International Auto Show. While the show moved to more weather-friendly June dates this year, the awards kept the January timeline and were announced yesterday. The results will be less contentious than the Oscars.
While there were many noteworthy cars launched over the past year, the three below are truly brand-redefining. Two of them made our favorite cars we drove in 2019 list.
Car of the Year: Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
The Corvette broke hard from tradition with the eighth generation. It’s mid-engined, it has a funky interior, and there’s no manual transmission. But it continues the car’s natural evolution the past couple decades from slightly uncouth straight-line speedster to bonafide supercar on a budget. It’s also striking to look at. Reviewers have been enjoying the new C8 Corvette. So, allegedly, have GM engineers.
Utility Vehicle of the Year: Kia Telluride
Kia entered an extremely competitive three-row family SUV segment and did the nearly impossible. The Telluride offers a distinctive, luxurious, and fun take on the family hauler at an affordable price point. It provides far better value than the Toyota Land Cruiser. While the K900 and the Stinger have struggled against the established competition in their segments, the Telluride is breaking through.
Truck of the Year: Jeep Gladiator
Jeep kept it simple with the Gladiator. They gave the Wrangler a longer wheelbase, added a box on the back, and created a charming, capable, and unique pickup truck that has other manufacturers playing catch up. Gear Patrol named the Gladiator the best car of 2019. Buyers are paying silly prices for tricked-out Rubicon versions. Those figures come before factoring in the sweet third-party overlanding add-ons.
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