By John Vincent
Senior Editor / Vehicle Testing
The North American Car, Truck and Utility Vehicle of the Year jury recently announced the winners of its 2024 awards. Unlike U.S. News & World Report rankings, which strive to reflect the entire vehicle ownership experience, the NACTOY awards are designed to honor vehicles that show innovation and push their segment of the industry forward. They have been presented since 1994.
Winning the Utility Vehicle of the Year award is the all-new 2024 Kia EV9, which is the first mainstream three-row electric SUV in the marketplace. The top-scoring vehicle in the U.S. News & World Report electric SUV ranking, the EV9 impresses with its relatively affordable price, innovative application of technology and cabin space that benefits from its EV architecture.
“The Kia EV9 represents a new paradigm in the three-row SUV segment,” said Seungkyu (Sean) Yoon, president and CEO of Kia North America and Kia America. “For the second consecutive year, the three finalists have been EVs or included EVs as part of a larger lineup, which illustrates where the segment is headed. This win proves that EV9 is not only a top utility vehicle, but also an exemplary EV.”
The NACTOY pickup truck award went to the 2024 Ford Super-Duty pickup. Far from the strictly utilitarian heavy-duty pickups of old, the new Ford F-250 and F-350 trucks have learned many lessons from the lighter-duty Ford F-150. They now include many of the F-150’s comfort features, technology, safety features and towing assists. The Ford Super-Duty is the top-ranked vehicle in our heavy-duty pickup truck ranking.
“It represents the relentless dedication our teams have to our customers and endless hours they’ve poured into designing, engineering and building Super Duty pickups and chassis cabs to be the ultimate Built Ford Tough® tool for work and recreation,” said Andrew Kernahan, Super Duty chief program engineer.
Fully redesigned for 2023, the Toyota Prius and Toyota Prius Prime take the world’s signature hybrid vehicle in a new direction with a sporty new look, increased power and range. While groundbreaking in some ways, the Prius and Prius Prime score in the lower half of our hybrid car ranking. They don’t offer as much rear seat and cargo room as the last generation models.
“After nearly 25 years, Prius continues to leave its mark on the world and offers customers a great option to reduce their carbon emissions,” said Mike Tripp, group vice president of Toyota Marketing.
The independent NACTOY jury is composed of 50 automotive journalists representing a variety of print, online, radio and television outlets from across North America, including a Senior Editor from U.S. News & World Report.