The finalists for the North American Car of the Year awards have been announced, with probably little surprise from critics and the public in general.
The title of North American Car of the Year award will be contested among the newest generations of the Chevrolet Malibu, Honda Civic and Mazda MX-5, while the overall North American Truck/Utility of the Year will go to one of the Honda Pilot, Nissan Titan XD or Volvo XC90.
The awards are adjudicated by a jury of 53 automobile journalists from across Canada and the United States, working for various media outlets. The jurors pared down the list of potential contenders to 10 car finalists and 12 trucks and utilities in September 2015, and in early December voted on their choices for the winners.
The ballots went directly to professional services firm Deloitte, which tabulated the results and released the names of the top three (announced at the Automotive Press Association in Detroit), and will hand over the envelopes with the names of the two winners for announcement during the media preview days at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, though the show itself or its organizers are not involved in the selection of vehicles or the voting process.
Created 23 yeas ago, the annual awards recognize vehicles that best exemplify excellence in innovation, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction and value in the crop of new vehicles introduced for the coming model year. The winners will be declared January 11, 2016.
Last year, the Volkswagen Golf was named North American Car of the Year, while the Ford F-150 took home the North American Truck of the Year title. In the past 22 years, North American vehicles have won 27 of the awards (12 cars and 15 trucks), Europeans have won eight (5 cars and 3 trucks), Japanese seven (3 cars and 4 trucks), and Korean companies have won two car titles.
The awards are funded by participation dues paid by the jurors.