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Finalists Announced for North American Car, Truck and Utility Vehicle of the Year

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The revised Genesis G80 sedan and all-new GV80 SUV are among the nine finalists announced today for the 2021 North American Car, Truck and Utility Vehicle of the Year awards.

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2021 North American Car of the Year

No new models crashed the finalists’ party this year – semi-finalists did include the Polestar 2 and Cadillac CT4-V - but the three models that have made it to the final round were all heavily revised and improved for the 2021 model-year. Hats off to the Genesis G80, Hyundai Elantra and Nissan Sentra.

Other semi-finalists left behind in the dust include the reinvented Kia K5, Acura TLX and Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

See also: Big Revisions for the 2021 Nissan Sentra

See also: 2021 Genesis G80 First Drive: Tortoise and the Hare…

See also: 2021 Hyundai Elantra First Drive: Reaching for the Top

2021 Genesis G80
Photo: D.Boshouwers
2021 Genesis G80

2021 North American Utility Vehicle of the Year

This is a rather eclectic affair this year, as the finalists’ group includes an all-new electric model, an all-new luxury SUV and a revenant built for serious off-roading and which comes in two sizes. Can you guess which they are?

Congratulations to the Ford Mustang Mach-E, the Genesis GV80 and the Land Rover Defender. The three SUVs beat out a diverse contingent of models in the semi-finals phase, namely the Maxda CX-30, reborn Toyota Venza, new Kia Seltos and revised Kia Sorento, revamped Nissan Rogue, Hyundai Santa Fe, Cadillac Escalade, Volvo XC40 Recharge and, yup, even the king of the castle in the compact SUV category, the Toyota RAV4 Prime.

See also: 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E First Drive: Creative Appropriation

See also: 2021 Genesis GV80 First Drive: Child Prodigy

See also:Land Rover Defender pictures

Land Rover Defender 90 and 110
Photo: Land Rover
Land Rover Defender 90 and 110

2021 North American Truck of the Year

There were but four semi-finalists in this category this year, and so it was a game of musical chairs to see which unlucky soul would be left out of the finalists’ trio. That dubious honour went to the Ford Super Duty, leaving a final three consisting of the Ford F-150, Jeep Gladiator Mojave and the crazy new Ram 1500 TRX.

See also: 2021 Ford F-150 Hybrid First Drive: A Transition Step to the Coming All-Electric Pickup

See also: The 2021 Ram TRX Makes its Entrance

See also: Ford F-150 Raptor vs Ram 1500 TRX: A Battle Played out in Numbers – For Now

2021 Ram 1500 TRX
Photo: Ram
2021 Ram 1500 TRX

“In this very challenging year, these nine vehicles emerged as our finalists out of an unusually strong field of 27 semifinalists. Each one of them – especially the 15 in the ultra-competitive utility vehicle category – is excellent in nearly every way.”

- NACTOY president Gary Witzenburg

The organization’s jury members, consisting of 60 automotive journalists from the U.S. and Canada, will vote for their choices early in the new year, and the big winner will be announced on January 11.

2021 Nissan Sentra
Photo: Nissan
2021 Nissan Sentra
2021 Ford F-150
Photo: Ford
2021 Ford F-150
2021 Genesis GV80
Photo: Genesis
2021 Genesis GV80
2021 Hyundai Elantra
Photo: Hyundai
2021 Hyundai Elantra
Jeep Gladiator Mojave
Photo: Jeep
Jeep Gladiator Mojave