With 2021 F-150 and Mustang Mach-E Wins, Ford Trounces Truck and SUV Rivals

It’s that time of year when many new vehicle models debut. The 2021 Ford F-150 and Mustang Mach-E are two exciting releases. But now they’re arguably even more popular after taking home prestigious awards.

When you’re considered one of the best in your segment, it’s an exciting thing. In Ford’s case, winning in two of three segments of the North American Car of the Year Awards makes this victory even sweeter. 

How winners are chosen for the NACTOY Awards

Each year, the North American Car and Truck of the Year Awards, or NACTOY Awards, are given to one car, one truck, and one utility vehicle. For the 2021 model year, there were three winners. In the car segment, the Hyundai Elantra took the top spot, the Ford F-150 won for trucks, and the Mustang Mach-E reigned victorious in the utility vehicle segment. 

NACTOY tasks 50 judges with determining the winners. These judges are professional automotive writers from the United States and Canada who contribute to various newspapers, websites, magazines, and TV stations.

The judges choose nine finalists based on design, innovation, driver satisfaction, safety, value, and segment leadership. Then they whittle the list to one winner in each category. 

This year, the three finalists in the car category were the Hyundai Elantra, Nissan Sentra, and Genesis G80. In the truck category, there were the Ford F-150, Jeep Gladiator Mojave, and Ram 1500 TRX. And in the SUV category, the three finalists were the Ford Mach-E, Genesis GV80, and Land Rover Defender. 

What made the Ford F-150 a winner?

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The Ford F-150 offers the most towing and payload capacity of any full-size light-duty pickup on the market. The automaker introduced some new updates to the F-150 to boost its productivity. One of them was online updates enabling owners to receive necessary truck software upgrades. 

Also, according to a Ford press release, the F-150 offers a new hybrid powertrain. This includes a 3.5-liter PowerBoost motor that contains the Pro Power Onboard feature, an integrated power generator. 

One of the NACTOY judges, John Voelcker, said that Ford “refines the package, keeping what’s good, updating as needed, and delivering the right mix of features, capabilities, comfort, and style.” 

What made the Ford Mustang Mach-E a winner?

The brand-new Mustang Mach-E’s NACTOY win is unsurprising given the buzz surrounding Ford’s first all-electric SUV.

The judges considered it a strong challenger for Tesla’s Model Y in performance and interior tech. The Mustang Mach-E offers smooth handling, a well-balanced ride, and state-of-the-art technology.

Ford is rightfully proud of these awards. “It is the first time since 2014 that the same brand has won multiple North American vehicle of the year awards in the same year,” the automaker’s press release states.