The winner of the North American Car and Truck of the Year Awards will be announced on January 11 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
The judges have announced that 16 car and 10 truck nominees have been whittled down to just three finalists in each category. These are the Buick LaCrosse, Ford Fusion Hybrid and Volkswagen Golf/GTI as finalists for North American Car of the Year and the Chevrolet Equinox, Ford Transit Connect and Subaru Outback as finalists for North American Truck of the Year.
Ford is a finalist in both the Car and Truck categories and will be hoping to repeat last year's success, when it won the North American Truck of the Year Award with the F-150. The Detroit-based giant has won the truck category five times, compared to rival nominee Chevrolet's three times. Although Ford has been nominated multiple times in the car category, it has won only once, in 2000, with the Ford Focus.
Hybrids have been honored several times since 2004. The Toyota Prius took the 2004 North American Car of the Year and the Ford Escape Hybrid was the 2005 North American Truck of the Year. The Honda Civic Hybrid was included when the Civic was named the 2006 North American Car of the Year.
The awards, chosen by 49 automotive journalists in the United States and Canada, recognize the most outstanding vehicles of the year based on factors that include innovation, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction and value.
Previous North American Truck of the Year Winners
2009 - Ford F-150
2008 - Mazda CX-9
2007 - Chevrolet Silverado
2006 - Honda Ridgeline
2005 - Ford Escape Hybrid