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: