The North American Car and Truck/Utility of the Year jury today announced the six finalists for its annual awards. Three cars made the finalist list for 2016 Car of the Year, while two SUVs and one pickup made the list for the 2016 Truck/Utility of the Year award.
The car finalists are the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata, Honda Civic and 2016 Chevrolet Malibu. The Truck/Utility finalists are the 2016 Honda Pilot, 2016 Nissan Titan XD, and 2016 Volvo XC90.
Fifty-six jurors from various print, online, and broadcast outlets across the United States and Canada, including five from Motor Authority parent company Internet Brands, voted on the finalists. The jurors were instructed to vote for the vehicles that set new benchmarks in their segments for innovation, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction, and value.
The nominees were taken from the "short list" of 10 cars and 12 trucks/utilities. Each juror had 25 points to assign in each category and no vehicle could get more than 10 points. That means each juror had to vote for at least three vehicles in each category. The finalists are the vehicles that earned the most points. The short list was determined in October in less formal voting that called for jurors to nominate up to 15 vehicles in each category.
To be eligible, a vehicle has to be new or substantially changed this year. The vehicles also must be popular sellers, which means many niche products like those from the exotic brands are ruled out. Last year’s winners were the Volkswagen Golf and Ford F-150.
The final round of voting is due by January 4 and the two winners will be announced in a ceremony to kick off the press days of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on January 11. In the final round of voting, jurors will have 10 points to assign as they wish in each category. All ten points can go to one vehicle or be split up among multiple vehicles.
We will announce the winners along with our complete coverage of the Detroit Auto Show, which you can track via our dedicated hub.