Revised NACTOY Vehicle Eligibility List for 2021 Awards

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NACTOY Releases Revised Vehicle Eligibility List for 2021 Awards

Eligibility list for annual awards expanded by six to 40 cars, utilities and trucks


DETROIT, July 8, 2020 – The North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year (NACTOY) Awards today announced the addition of six vehicles to its list of models eligible for the 2021 awards, including some late launches brought on by COVID-19-caused delays.

The six additional vehicles are:


  • 2020 Cadillac CT4/CT4-V
  • 2021 Kia K5
  • 2021 Polestar 2


  • 2021 BMW X5 xDrive45e
  • 2021 Ford Bronco Sport
  • 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA

NACTOY expects it will add several more models before this year’s list closes as jurors work to accommodate the industry’s unusual and still-changing 2021 product release cadence.

“In order to provide consumers with the most comprehensive assessment of new cars, SUVs and trucks, we think that it is essential to be as inclusive as we can when it comes to vehicles that will be in showrooms by the end of 2020, so we’re adjusting our time schedule accordingly,” said NACTOY President Gary Witzenburg.

NACTOY jurors make assessments of vehicles that qualify for consideration during their work for print, online, radio and broadcast outlets, and during an annual comparison drive, which will be held this year from October 5 to 8 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Semi-Finalists in each category will be announced at the LA Auto Show in November, Finalists in December and category winners in Detroit in January 2021.

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


The Previously Released List of 2021 NACTOY Candidates with Additions:


Car of the Year

2021 Acura TLX

2021 BMW 330e and 330e xDrive

2021 BMW 430i, 430i xDrive and M440i xDrive

*2020 Cadillac CT4/CT4-V

2021 Genesis G80

2021 Hyundai Elantra family (includes N Line and HEV)

*2021 Kia K5

2021 Lexus IS

2021 Mercedes-Benz E Class Sedan, All-Terrain, Coupe, Cabriolet

2021 MINI Cooper SE

2020 Nissan Sentra

*2021 Polestar 2


Utility of the Year

2021 BMW X3 xDrive30e

*2021 BMW X5 xDrive45e

2021 Buick Encore GX

2021 Cadillac Escalade

2021 Chevrolet Tahoe/Suburban

2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer

*2021 Ford Bronco Sport

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 Mercedes-Benz GLA

2021 Nissan Rogue

2020 Toyota Highlander

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime

2021 Toyota Sienna

2021 Toyota Venza

2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport

2021 Volvo XC40 P8 Recharge


Truck of the Year

2021 Ford F-150

2020 Ford Super Duty

2020 Jeep Gladiator Mojave


*Added to list

Please note: Two models – the 2021  BMW 545e xDrive and the 2021 BMW X2 xDrive25e – have been removed from the original list because they will not be sold in the U.S.

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.