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Although the automotive world (like the non-automotive one) has been upended as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year Awards announced today the vehicles that are under consideration for the 2021 awards.

These are vehicles that are all-new or determined by the NACTOY board to be “significantly” modified.


There is one slight change (so far) from previous years of the NACTOY judging protocol. Because of the pandemic, some OEMs have significant vehicles that will have a late launch. So while there will be a winnowing of the candidates by the 50 jurors from print, online, radio and broadcast media in U.S. and Canada (full disclosure: I am one of them) until the finalists are announced in December, there will also be additions to the list.

The list of vehicles was announced today at a (virtual) meeting of the Automotive Press Association, a meeting that also included representatives of the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) and the Detroit Auto Dealers Association (DADA).

In addition, NACTOY announced today that it has awarded $40,000 in scholarships and charitable donations to the College for Creative Studies (CCS) and Feeding America. Each of those organizations is receiving $20,000. The charitable donations were made through a partnership between NACTOY and the NAIAS.

We’ll keep you apprised as how things develop for the vehicle consideration list.


Car of the Year

2021   Acura TLX

2021   BMW 330e and 330e xDrive

2021   BMW 430i, 430i xDrive and M440i xDrive

2021   BMW 545e xDrive

2021   Genesis G80

2020 Sentra

2020 Nissan Sentra. (Image: Nissan)

2021   Hyundai Elantra family (includes N Line and HEV)

2021   Lexus IS

2021   Mercedes-Benz E Class Sedan, All-Terrain, Coupe, Cabriolet

2021   MINI Cooper SE

2020   Nissan Sentra


Utility of the Year

2021   BMW X2 xDrive25e

2021   BMW X3 xDrive30e and xDrive45e

2021   Buick Encore GX

2021   Cadillac Escalade

2021   Chevrolet Trailblazer

2021   Chevrolet Tahoe/Suburban

2021   Ford Mustang Mach E

VW CrossSport

VW Atlas Cross Sport (Image: VW)

2021   Genesis GV80

2021   GMC Yukon/Yukon XL

2020   Honda CR-V Hybrid

2021   Hyundai Santa Fe

2021   Hyundai Venue

2021   Kia Seltos

2020   Land Rover Defender 90 and 110

2020   Lincoln Corsair Grand Touring

2020   Mazda CX-30

2021   Nissan Rogue

2021   Toyota Venza

2021   Toyota Sienna

2021   Toyota RAV4 Prime

2020   Toyota Highlander

2020   Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport

2021   Volvo  XC40 P8 Recharge


Truck of the Year

2020   Ford Super Duty

2021   Ford F-150

2020   Jeep Gladiator Mojave

Jeep Gladiator Mojave

Jeep Gladiator Mojave (Image: FCA)


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