Each year the 50 jurors of the North American Car and Truck of the Year Awards pick a list of cars, trucks, and utility vehicles that deserve consideration for the top journalist pick of the new model year. The time for the 2013 list is upon us, and while the vast majority of these vehicles will be shorn on the way to shorter lists as the 2012 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) draws near, just making the initial long list indicates a degree of success in design.
This year, the category name for the Truck of the Year award has been tweaked slightly--the award will be for the top Truck/Utility of the Year. Otherwise, the process, and the list, remains much like years past: successive rounds of voting will narrow the field to yield a single winner in each category.
In 2012, the Car of the Year was the Hyundai Elantra, while the Range Rover Evoque won the still-inaptly named Truck of the Year title.
For 2013, American, German, and Japanese manufacturers are all well-represented in the cars category, though Japanese brands secure 12 of the 30 nominations, followed by 10 American cars, five nods for Germany, and three for Korea. The truck/utility sector is heavy on Japanese marques, with six of the 15 spots, followed closely by the Germans, with five on the list. America grabs three truck spots, and Korea takes the final slot.
Our favorites in the car section include the Porsche 911 (991), Porsche Boxster, BMW 3-Series Sedan, Cadillac ATS, SRT Viper, and, of course, the Subaru BRZ/Scion FR-S twins. In the still somewhat incorrectly classified truck/utility segment, we're fans of the BMW X1, Mercedes-Benz GL Class, Audi Allroad, and, for sheer oddball utility, the Ford C-Max.
Without further ado, the 2013 North American Car of the Year Nominees:
BMW 3-Series Sedan
BMW 6-Series Gran Coupe
Ford Focus Electric
Honda Fit EV
Hyundai Elantra GT
Mercedes SL Class
Tesla Model S
Toyota Prius C
2013 North American Truck/Utility of the Year Nominees:
Hyundai Santa Fe
Mercedes GL Class
Mercedes GLK Class
Mercedes G Class
Toyota RAV4 EV
UPDATE: The NACTOY committee has removed the Mazda6 and Kia Cadenza from the initial list, and added the Fisker Karma and Lexus LS.