Finalists For 2012 North American Car And Truck Of The Year Announced

By Brandon Turkus

December 16, 2011

With the North American International Auto Show comes the announcement for the winners of the prestigious North American Car of the Year and North American Truck of the Year. This year’s group has been narrowed down to three cars and three trucks.
 
Last year’s winner, the Chevrolet Volt, beat out the Hyundai Sonata and Nissan Leaf. The Truck crown was claimed by the Ford Explorer, which trumped the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango.
 
The finalists for 2012 Car Of The Year are the Volkswagen Passat, Hyundai Elantra, and Ford Focus. The finalists for Truck Of The Year are the Honda CR-V, Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, and BMW X3.
 
The winner will be announced on January 9, at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. In the mean time, check out our reviews on each car, and join the discussion on our Facebook page, as we try to hash out which car and truck deserve to win.
 
Please scroll down for the official press release from the North American Car and Truck of the Year committee.
 
2012 NACTOY Finalists Announced
DETROIT, - Fifty automotive journalists have selected the Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra and Volkswagen Passat as the three finalists for the 2012 North American Car of the Year.
 
The finalists for the 2012 North American Truck of the Year are the BMW X3, the Honda CR-V and the Land Rover Range Rover Evoque.
 
The finalists were revealed today at an Automotive Press Association luncheon in Detroit.
 
The awards are unique in the United States because -- instead of being given by a single media outlet -- they are awarded by a coalition of automotive journalists from the United States and Canada representing magazines, television, radio, newspapers and web sites. The awards are financed by the jurors’ dues and NACTOY does not accept advertising from automakers.
 
To be eligible a vehicle must be all new or substantially changed. After considering dozens of vehicles this year the jurors finally voted on 17 cars and seven trucks.
 
Earlier this month jurors sent their ballots to Michelle Collins, a partner at Deloitte & Touche, LLP.
 
Today Ms. Collins handed over envelopes containing the names of the finalists (listed in alphabetical order) to Karl Brauer, a member of the awards’ organizing committee and the Editor-in-Chief for Total Car Score.
 
This begins a second round of voting on the three car and three truck finalists. Those ballots also go to Ms. Collins who will be the only one who knows the winners until she hands over the envelopes on January 9th at 7:15 am at the Michigan Stage at Cobo Hall in Detroit.
 
While the news conference is being held at the North American International Auto Show the show does not give the awards.
 
Also, the correct name is “North American Car of the Year” and “North American Truck of the Year,” not “Car of the Year” or “Truck of the Year.”
 
Last year the 2011 North American Car of the Year was the Chevrolet Volt and the 2011 North American Truck of the Year was the Ford Explorer.
 
This is the 19th year of the awards. During the past 18 years:
 
* Domestic automakers have won North American Car of the Year ten times. European automakers have won four times, Japanese automakers have won three times. A Korean automaker – Hyundai - has won once.
 
* Domestic automakers have won North American Truck of the Year 12 times. Japanese automakers have won four times. European automakers have won twice.
 
The awards are administered by a six-person organizing committee. This year its members are Karl Brauer (Total Car Score); Marc Lachapelle (MSN Autos US, Le Guide de l'auto); Tony Swan (Car and Driver); Lindsay Brooke (Automotive Engineering International); Mark Phelan (The Detroit Free Press) and Christopher Jensen (Freelance).
 
Below are the vehicles on which the jurors voted.
 
North American Car of the Year:
Audi A6
Audi A7
Buick Verano
Chevrolet Sonic
Chrysler 300/SRT-8
Fiat 500
Ford Focus
Hyundai Accent
Hyundai Elantra
Hyundai Veloster
Kia Rio/Rio 5
Scion iQ
Subaru Impreza
Toyota Camry
Toyota Prius V
VW Beetle
VW Passat
 
North American Truck of the Year:
BMW X3
Honda CR-V
Land Rover Range Rover Evoque
Mercedes-Benz M-Class
Mini Countryman
Nissan Quest
Saab 9-4X