A radically redesigned sedan, a familiar truck, and an all-electric crossover won over the jurors.
Each year, the North American Car, Truck, and Utility Vehicle of the Year Awards (NACTOY) celebrate the best car, truck, and utility vehicle in their respective segments. Last year, the Corvette Stingray, Jeep Gladiator, and Kia Telluride emerged victorious at the 2020 awards.
This year, a far more humble yet no less impressive vehicle took home the North American Car of the Year award, judged by a panel of expert jurors. It's none other than the Hyundai Elantra, a fitting honor for a nameplate that just celebrated its 30th anniversary. The seventh-generation Elantra showcases a dramatic new look and was unveiled nearly a year ago.
The Elantra came out on top against fellow finalists, the Genesis G80 and Nissan Sentra, with the Sentra being one of our top 10 cars of the year. The remaining two awards went to a single automaker, with the finalists for the North American Truck of the Year being the Jeep Gladiator Mojave, ballistic Ram 1500 TRX, and the all-new Ford F-150.
Coming out on top was none other than the all-new F-150, the top-selling vehicle in the country. It was always going to be hard for Jeep and Ram to unseat the latest F-150, which introduced a hybrid powertrain to the nameplate for the first time ever. The F-150 last won this award back in 2015.
Finally, the North American Utility Vehicle of the Year went to the groundbreaking Ford Mustang Mach-E. The all-electric SUV ousted the Genesis GV80 and the Land Rover Defender to take home the prize. With Ford's wins for the F-150 and Mustang Mach-E, this is the first time that the same automaker took home two awards since 2014 when the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray and Chevrolet Silverado beat out the competition.
While the F-150 was always expected to perform well, Ford must be encouraged by this acknowledgment of the Mach-E's abilities, especially as deliveries of the EV have recently begun after a year of production dramatically slowed by the pandemic. NACTOY is judged by 50 professional automotive journalists with the third category for Utility Vehicles first introduced in 2017.