by Alex Gibson

Finalists for the 2014 North American Car and Truck/Utility of the Year have been announced ahead of the winners’ announcements at the Detroit motor show in January next year.

The award is split into two categories, one for cars and the other for trucks and utility vehicles (utes and SUVs), with each list having been whittled down to twelve finalists. To be eligible for consideration the vehicles must be new for the 2014 model year.

Both lists reflect a distinctly American sensibility, with sedans, front-engined sports cars, and SUVs the size of small apartments predominating.

In the car category, small cars such as the Toyota Corolla and Mazda 3 are competing against everything from medium- and full-size sedans like the Lexus IS and Chevrolet Impala, right through to fully fledged sports cars including the Jaguar F-Type and Corvette Stingray.

The truck/utility category displays a similar spread of vehicles, from the Buick Encore (a rebadged version of the Opel Mokka, itself a reskinned Holden Trax), to the Subaru Forester, Range Rover Sport and leviathan Chevrolet Silverado.

Eventually, each list will be reduced to three vehicles in the running for overall category honours.

Overall, GM leads the manufacturers, with three vehicles up for consideration, followed by BMW, Kia, Mazda, and Toyota, each with two vehicles in the running.

The NACTOY award is decided by an independent, self-funded, not-for-profit jury of 50 North American car journalists.

2014 North American Car of the Year finalists:

2014 North American Truck/Utility of the Year finalists:

  • Phil

    If buyer reaction is any guide, it should be the Mazda 3 and the Forester. And how long has it been since we’ve seen a list of finalists without a single VW product?

    • richard

      This is North America we’re taking about though – VW isn’t exactly big there.

      • Phil

        you are kidding right? VW is number 10 ranked brand in the US, on cumulative sales in 2013. That’s just ahead of Subaru, who have had a 45% increase in sales this year.

        • richard

          I meant it’s not exactly a big deal over there.

    • Modern Man

      if it is like the wheels awards etc then it is only for new or major overhaul vehicles instead of just ‘look at my new alloys and colours’ type of upgrade.

      • Phil

        like the mk7 Golf? Would that not be eligible?

        • tax

          For 2014, no. More a 2013 contender.

          • Phil

            as it turns out, the US don’t get the mk7 Golf until next year, so it’s a 2015 model by the bizarre Yank method. The Beetle would have been eligible, but no surprises about it being overlooked.