The finalists for the North American Car and Truck of the Year were announced yesterday at an Automotive Press Association luncheon held in Detroit. As was the case last year, they include four American and two Japanese models – none from Europe or Korea.
Last year, the Cadillac ATS was named North American Car of the Year while the Ram 1500 took the truck honours.
The three finalists for 2014 North American Car of the Year are the Cadillac CTS, Corvette Stingray and Mazda3.
The Acura MDX, Chevrolet Silverado and Jeep Cherokee are the North American Truck of the Year finalists.
The finalists were selected from a short list of 12 cars and 12 trucks/utility vehicles, selected by a jury of 48 automotive journalists from the U.S. and Canada, representing a variety of different media.
The selection process is different from that used for the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada's (AJAC) Canadian Car of the Year awards, which involves back-to-back testing of competing vehicles and individual ratings of approximately 20 different parameters.
To select the finalists, the NACOTY jurors were allocated 25 points to distribute among the short-listed cars and another 25 points to distribute among the trucks, with no more than 10 points given to a single vehicle. Maximum points could be allocated to no more than one car and one truck and jurors had to use all 25 points.
They now vote again on the three cars and three trucks, allocating a total of 10 points in each case. The points may all go to a single vehicle or be divided up but all the points must be used.
The stated goal is to select a car and a truck that set new benchmarks in the classes in which they compete. Factors to be considered are said to include value for the dollar, innovation, handling, performance, safety and driver satisfaction.
Winners in both categories will be revealed in a ceremony at the media-day opening of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on January 13.