NACTOY Releases Vehicle Eligibility List for 2021 Awards


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NACTOY Releases Vehicle Eligibility List for 2021 Awards

Jurors to evaluate 36-plus new models for North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year awards


DETROIT, June 23, 2020 – The North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year Awards today announced a list of 36 models eligible for the 2021 awards that reveals an automotive industry that is poised to launch an unusually high number of vehicles over the second half of the year.

Many automakers have delayed product launches due to COVID-19-caused vehicle development and production delays, making it likely that the total number of eligible vehicles will grow as the year unfolds.

As of today, automakers are planning to announce 10 new cars, three trucks and no fewer than 23 utilities due in dealerships by the end of this year. All of these vehicles will be eligible for one of three awards — North American Car of the Year, North American Utility Vehicle of the Year and North American Truck of the Year. Of these 36 vehicles announced today, 10 are from domestic automakers, nine are European and 17 are Asian.

“Product introductions have slowed for a while, but that will change during the second half of the year as automakers release a large number of important new cars, SUVs and trucks,” said NACTOY President Gary Witzenburg. “Our jurors will be very busy over the coming months as they work to drive and evaluate all of these new models.”

Chosen by a panel of 50 respected jurors from print, online, radio and broadcast media across the U.S. and Canada – rather than a single publication or media outlet – the NACTOY awards are unique and among the most prestigious in the industry.

Jurors will conduct a preliminary vote to narrow the list to up to 12 models in each category in September, then will conduct additional driving evaluations through the rest of the year, including during an October comparison drive in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Semi-Finalists in each category will be announced at the LA Auto Show in November, Finalists in December (later than usual due to the many late-year launches) and category winners in Detroit in January.

To be eligible, vehicles must be all-new or substantially new and must be available at dealerships before the end of the year.


Here is the full 2021 NACTOY eligibility list:


Car of the Year

2021 Acura TLX
2021 BMW 330e and 330e xDrive
2021 BMW 430i, 430i xDrive and M440i xDrive
2021 BMW 545e xDrive
2021 Genesis G80
2021 Hyundai Elantra family (includes N Line and HEV)
2021 Lexus IS
2021 Mercedes-Benz E Class Sedan, All-Terrain, Coupe, Cabriolet
2021 MINI Cooper SE
2020 Nissan Sentra


Utility of the Year

2021 BMW X2 xDrive25e
2021 BMW X3 xDrive30e and xDrive45e
2021 Buick Encore GX
2021 Cadillac Escalade
2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer
2021 Chevrolet Tahoe/Suburban
2021 Ford Mustang Mach E
2021 Genesis GV80
2021 GMC Yukon/Yukon XL
2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid
2021 Hyundai Santa Fe
2021 Hyundai Venue
2021 Kia Seltos
2020 Land Rover Defender 90 and 110
2021 Lincoln Corsair Grand Touring
2020 Mazda CX-30
2021 Nissan Rogue
2021 Toyota Venza
2021 Toyota Sienna
2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime
2020 Toyota Highlander
2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport
2021 Volvo XC40 P8 Recharge


Truck of the Year 

2020 Ford Super Duty
2021 Ford F-150
2020 Jeep Gladiator Mojave

NOTE: Spanish and French versions of this release will be available on NACTOY’s website. For more information about NACTOY and its history:



The awards are intended to recognize the most outstanding new vehicles of the year. These vehicles are benchmarks in their segments based on factors including innovation, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction and value for the dollar. The organization gives out three awards. They are: “North American Car of the Year,” “North American Utility Vehicle of the Year,” and “North American Truck of the Year.” The awards are unique because they are given by an independent jury of automotive journalists from the United States and Canada instead of being given by a single publication, website, radio or television station.