From nine finalists in three categories, the North American Car, Utility, and Truck of the Year (NACTOY) award winners have been announced at the TCF Center in Detroit. The awards, which traditionally had been awarded at the North American International Auto Show that has moved to the summer starting this year, were voted on by 54 jurors from across North America including our own Editor in Chief Jodi Lai as well as regular contributor Lesley Wimbush.
This year, finalists for Car of the Year were the Chevrolet Corvette, Hyundai Sonata and Toyota Supra. In the Utility category were the Hyundai Palisade, Kia Telluride, and Lincoln Aviator. For Truck of the Year, the finalists were the Ford Ranger, Jeep Gladiator, and Ram Heavy Duty. To be eligible, vehicles had to be all-new or significantly changed for the 2020 model year and vehicles had to be available for testing before the final votes were cast in late December.
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The North American Car of the Year is the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette. The eighth-generation car, known as the C8, elevates Corvette's bargain performance formula by putting the engine behind the driver. This has given it supercar-beating performance in a car that's a fraction of the cost of the competition. GM took huge risks with changing the traditional Corvette formula, but the improvements to performance validated that the risks were worth it.
Utility Vehicle of the Year was awarded to the 2020 Kia Telluride. Kia's all-new and second attempt at a full-size crossover, the Telluride offers a tremendous amount of space and seating for up to eight passengers along with a host of luxury and comfort features, all at a value price. It's also arguably the most stylish and unique-looking three-row crossover in its segment.
North American Truck of the Year went to the 2020 Jeep Gladiator. Jeep's Wrangler-based pickup offers class-leading towing capacity and excellent payload ratings, along with the ability to remove all four doors as well as the roof so you can tow just about anywhere in the open air. Jeep perfectly hit its target with this truck, as it offers all the off-road capability of a regular Wrangler but with the extra utility of an open bed.
"I'm proud to be part of the jury, and the winners and finalists have a lot to be proud of as well. These automakers have gone above and beyond what's expected of them to push benchmarks higher and it's this effort that continually makes the industry better for consumers," said autoTRADER.ca Editor in Chief Jodi Lai. "Congratulations to the Jeep Gladiator, Kia Telluride, and Chevrolet Corvette C8 for their outstanding performance in this year's awards."