The votes are in, and the winners of the prestigious North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year Awards for 2020 have now been announced.
There was strong competition this year, especially in the utility segment where consumers right now are having a field day. Nevertheless, over a period of several weeks the team of independent jurors, comprising 50 automotive journalists from the United States and Canada, including Internet Brands staff, narrowed the list to a final winner for each of the Car, Utility and Truck categories.
2020 Kia Telluride - Best Car To Buy 2020
To be eligible for the awards, a vehicle has to be either new or substantially changed from a previous model, and it also needs to be on sale by the end of the year. It also has to be a volume seller, thus ruling out many niche products like those from exotic brands. This year, there were 19 cars, 22 utilities and five trucks making up the field.
For team Corvette, it was the third award. The fifth generation of America's sports car was picked in 1998 and the seventh generation in 2014. Now we can add the eighth generation to the list. The car was a no-brainer given its combination of performance and price. The judges also praised the refinement and the bold move to a mid-engine layout. Runners-up were the Hyundai Sonata and Toyota Supra.
Unlike the Corvette, this was the first time a Kia has received the prestigious award, though sister-brand Hyundai has been there on multiple occasions. In fact, the Telluride was up against its Palisade twin in this year's awards but the judges were in favor of the Kia's modern, upmarket styling and all around poise, not to mention reasonable pricing. The third runner-up this year was the Lincoln Aviator.
2020 Jeep Gladiator
In the Truck category, the finalists were all very different (the runners-up were the Ford Ranger and Ram Heavy Duty). In the end, the Jeep offered both practicality and fun, which is why it came out on top.
The jurors consider a variety of factors in determining the winners, including innovation, design, safety, performance, technology, driver satisfaction and value. Last year's winners were the Genesis G70 (Car), Hyundai Kona (Utility), and Ram 1500 (Truck).
The winners of the 2020 awards were announced on Monday at a ceremony in Detroit. Normally the ceremony precedes the North American International Auto Show but starting from this year Detroit's annual auto show will run in the month of June. Organizers are looking to take advantage of the warmer weather to give the show a festival feel by including more interactive displays. There will still be a connection with the awards however, as the show will be where we'll learn the nominees for the 2021 North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year Awards.