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The North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year (NACTOY) Awards jury has announced its list of the semifinalists for the 2021 NACTOY Award, which will be presented in January 2021 in Detroit at an event hosted by the North American International Auto Show*.

To qualify for consideration the vehicles must be (1) available to consumers before the year is out and (2) must be all-new or significantly changed.

The vehicles that will be judged by the 50 jurors**, who represent print, online, radio and broadcast media from across the U.S. and Canada, are:

Car of the Year

Acura TLX

Cadillac CT4/CT4-V

Kia K5

Kia K5 (Image: Kia)

Genesis G80

Hyundai Elantra family (includes N Line and HEV)

Kia K5

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

Nissan Sentra

Polestar 2

Utility of the Year

Cadillac Escalade

Chevrolet Tahoe/Suburban

Chevrolet Trailblazer

Ford Bronco Sport

Bronco Sport

Bronco Sport (Image: Ford)

Ford Mustang Mach E

Genesis GV80

Hyundai Santa Fe

Kia Seltos

Kia Sorento

Land Rover Defender

Mazda CX-30

Nissan Rogue

Toyota RAV4 Prime

Toyota Venza

Volvo XC40 P8 Recharge

Truck of the Year

Ford Super Duty

Ford F-150

Jeep Gladiator

Jeep Gladiator Mojave (Image: Jeep)

Ram 1500 TRX

Jeep Gladiator Mojave

A significant part of the vetting for the vehicles will occur at an annual comparison drive that will be held in Ann Arbor next week.

The jurors will determine three finalists for each category. The finalists will be announced at an event in December hosted by the LA Auto Show***.


*NACTOY, which was established in 1994, is an independent organization. The association with the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS)—a.k.a., the “Detroit Show”—goes back to the beginning, as the awards have always been presented at the show. This past year, the Detroit Show was planned for June rather than its historic spot in January, but the pandemic put a stop to that. So NACTOY and NAIAS worked together so that the 2020 awards were presented in Detroit in January at the TCF Center (formerly, Cobo).

**Full disclosure: I am one of them.

***Again: NACTOY is independent of any organization, but working with others is a good thing.


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