The North American Car of the Year Awards, or "NACTOY" for short, have been a fixture of Detroit's International Auto Show in January since 1994. To the relief of many who gripe about the weather, the auto show itself has been moved to warmer months (starting in fall 2021, dependent on the pandemic). The awards, however, have maintained their traditional January timeslot.
Here's how it works: a panel of automotive journalists from North America and Canada votes on the winners for the best car, the best pickup truck, and the best sport-utility vehicle. Last year's winners were the 2020 Corvette Stingray, the 2020 Jeep Gladiator and the 2020 Kia Telluride respectively.
For the 2021 awards, a field of 27 semifinalists were narrowed down to nine finalists:
- Car: Genesis G80, Hyundai Elantra, Nissan Sentra
- Truck: Ford F-150, Ram 1500 TRX, Jeep Gladiator Mojave
- Utility: Ford Mustang Mach E, Genesis GV80, Land Rover Defender
As for the winners? Well, read on.
Hyundai launched the new seventh-generation Elantra for the 2020 model year, including new hybrid and N-Line performance versions. Kelley Blue Book named it one of the best cars to buy in 2021. The Elantra previously won the award in 2012.
Ford refreshed the best-selling F-150 pickup truck for the 2021 model year. It's the optimal full-size pickup for cruising, camping, towing, eating a cheeseburger or even catching a quick nap. It's the F-150's fifth win.
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