Earlier this week, the finalists for the coveted North American Car and Truck of the Year awards were announced in, appropriately, Detroit, Mich. Three final contenders were chosen for each category, so six in all. The winner will be selected at the Detroit Motor Show in January by a panel of industry experts.
The finalists were chosen by 57 jurors from all facets of media – “magazine, newspaper, television, online and radio, and their ballots were tabulated in secret by accounting firm Deloitte & Touche,” Autoblog noted.
According to Autoblog’s poll of its readers, the vast majority — over 60% — feel that the Mustang should take the crown for cars, and Ford will sweep the series with the F-150 for trucks. Whether it will turn out that way or not is yet to be seen, and we’ll have to wait — along with the judges themselves — the see the final results on January 12.
2015 Car of the Year: Ford Mustang
Overhauled and redesigned for 2015, the Ford Mustang is perhaps the finest embodiment yet of the combination of modern track-ready performance and vintage, retro-inspired design. From the 300 horsepower base model up through the 500-plus horsepower GT350, the new Mustang promises to offer all the positives of an American muscle car with virtually none of the traditional drawbacks — real-world handling especially.
2015 Car of the Year: Hyundai Genesis
Hyundai took a serious gamble with the first Genesis, the car credited with Hyundai’s so-far successful swim upstream into the light luxury segment. That gamble paid off — at least well enough to warrant another generation of the car, which has already hit showrooms and is a firm warning to the likes of Lexus and others that Hyundai’s serious about competing on their turf. But is it a good enough car to warrant being named the North American Car of the Year? We’ll have to wait and see.
2015 Car of the Year: Volkswagen Golf/GTI
Each generation of Volkswagen’s iconic hatch continues to out-deliver and over-perform the generation prior. That’s the case with the most recent rendition of the Golf family, which has already won Motor Trend’s coveted Car of the Year Award (for the whole family — the Golf, TDI, e-Golf, and GTI). A double-gold finish would solidify the Golf as the genre-defining vehicle that it is, but current owners already know what’s up.
2015 Truck of the Year: Chevrolet Colorado
The Colorado surprised fans and critics alike when it stole the show over at Motor Trend, pulling the rug out from beneath the aluminum-clad Ford F-150. Motor Trend appreciated its size and reasonable price point, and early indications show that buyers seem to agree. Its $21,000 or so entry point and everyday capabilities are fantastic and all, but the game changer will be the 2.8 liter diesel-four that GM is implementing for the 2016 model.
2015 Truck of the Year: Ford F-150
With its new aluminum alloy body, new engine options, and a new face, Ford’s F-150 is a sure thing for the Truck of the Year award — almost. To do so, the sum of its updates will have to beat out the Colorado, which many believe it will. The 2015 F-150 will represent the largest application of aluminum that the auto industry has seen to date, bringing the lightweight metal into the mainstream after decades of being seen only in the likes of Audi or Jaguar and other luxury heavyweights.
2015 Truck of the Year: Lincoln MKC
It’s not exactly a truck, but it’s not exactly a car, either. The Lincoln MKC is the second major component in Ford’s efforts to spin the brand into a competitive and bottom-line contributing entity, following up the MKZ sedan. Based on the Ford Escape, the MKC shares little with its corporate sibling in the way of appearance or comforts, and at a bit over $33,000, it’s among the most affordable crossovers in the luxury segment.