The list of eligible vehicles for the 2017 North American Car and Truck/Utility of the Year awards has been released today and it is highlighted with plenty of luxury and performance vehicles.
The prestigious awards are voted on by a committee of 60 automotive journalists from the United States and Canada, including myself, Marty Padgett, John Voelcker, and Mitch McCullough from our team at Internet Brands.
Since it was established in 1994, the group has awarded a North American Car of the Year and a North American Truck of the Year. This year, a North American SUV of the Year has been added. SUVs had previously been part of the truck award.
To quality for the truck award, a vehicle must be a pickup or a van with a cargo bed and/or it can be designed and used overwhelmingly for commercial use. Vans that fall into this category include the Ford Transit and Transit Connect, and the Nissan NV2000, though those vehicles are not on this year's list because they aren't new.
The SUV category includes truck-type body-on-frame SUVs, unibody crossovers, and minivans because they compete primarily with SUVs.
2017 Bentley Bentayga
Most of the cars on the list have either a luxury or performance focus. These include the Acura NSX, Alfa Romeo Giulia, Audi A4, 2017 Audi R8, Bentley Mulsanne, Buick Cascada, Buick LaCrosse, Cadillac CT6, Fiat 124 Spider, Genesis G90, Infiniti Q60, Jaguar XE, Kia Cadenza, Lincoln Continental, Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan, Mercedes-Benz S550 Maybach, Mercedes-Benz SL-Class, Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class, Mini Clubman, Porsche 718 Boxster and Cayman, Rolls-Royce Dawn, and Volvo S90.
One performance pickup is on the truck list: the Ford F-150 Raptor.
For a complete list head over to The Car Connection.
Jurors will vote on this list in early September to create a list of semi-finalists. A comparison drive will take place in October and the winners will be announced in January at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show.
It should be noted that this list is constantly evolving. New or significantly updated vehicles that come out this year may be added and those whose release dates are pushed too late into next year will fall off.