2021 North American Car, Truck, and SUV Finalists Revealed

Christian Wardlaw | Dec 17, 2020

A jury of 50 automotive journalists based in the U.S. and Canada have revealed the nine finalists for the North American Car, Truck, and SUV of the Year (NACTOY) awards. The awards focus on new and substantially updated vehicles in each category, with the jurors test-driving each eligible vehicle and selecting their favorites over the course of three rounds of voting. Award-winners in each category will be announced on January 11, 2021. The finalists in each category are listed below.

2021 Mustang Mach-E GT Performance Edition Yellow Front View

2021 North American Car of the Year Finalists - Find the best car deals!

This year, the NACTOY jury recognizes two mainstream compact cars and a new midsize luxury sedan.

  • Adopting the company’s latest design themes, the redesigned 2021 Genesis G80 takes a big leap into genuine luxury territory.
  • The 2021 Hyundai Elantra is redesigned, equipped with dynamic styling, a range of available powertrains, and the automaker’s latest technology. It remains a standout value in its segment.
  • Though it was redesigned for the 2020 model year, the Nissan Sentra arrived too late for consideration last year. The compact sedan represents a big improvement in terms of design and technology, and a simple packaging approach helps to keep the price low.

2021 North American Truck of the Year Finalists - Find the best car deals!

The big news in the pickup truck space is a redesign of the most popular vehicle in America, but new versions of a couple of existing trucks are also on the finalist list.

  • The 2021 Ford F-150 is completely redesigned, taking significant leaps forward in design, capability, technology, and electrification. It is basically a shoo-in to receive the award.
  • Introduced during the 2020 model year, the Jeep Gladiator Mojave is tuned for high-speed off-roading in the desert. The Gladiator won North American Truck of the Year for 2020.
  • Infused with Hellcat power and designed to dominate the factory-built off-road performance truck space, the Ram 1500 TRX is an undeniable engineering achievement.

2021 North American SUV of the Year Finalists - Find the best car deals!

Jurors whittled down the SUV segment to three very different vehicles. They include an electric vehicle, a luxury vehicle, and a resurrected off-roading vehicle.

  • One could argue that the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E isn’t an SUV at all, but since people want sport-utes, that’s what Ford is calling this electric Tesla Model Y competitor. Make no mistake: the Mustang Mach-E is a game-changer for Ford.
  • Genesis notches another nomination with its first SUV, the GV80. It competes in the heart of the midsize luxury SUV segment with dramatic design, three rows of seats, and compelling value.
  • Delayed by the pandemic, the Land Rover Defender 90 and 110 return to the U.S. market with classic design cues wrapped around modern technology and engineering.

NACTOY is the source of information in this article. It was accurate on December 17, 2020, but it may have changed since that date.

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