NACTOY Announces 2022 Finalists

There are some very, very good vehicles out there. . . .

By Gary S. Vasilash

Sitting on a plane this afternoon I was asked a question that many of my colleagues get from someone who finds out that we write about the auto industry:

“What kind of car should I buy?”

Once it was fairly easy to provide an answer, a specific make, a specific model.

And now, arguably, it has gotten somewhat easier.

My answer:

“Whatever kind of car you like.”

It is clear that with some outliers, the quality of cars, trucks and utes the are available on the market right now as really good. It would be hard to go wrong.

The game for all of the OEMs has been elevated.

There is not only attention being paid to quality but also value and features that consumers want.

The OEMs are providing vehicles that are not only things that people need to get to work or school or to run errands, but vehicles that people actually want to drive.

That as prologue, it is worth knowing that today the jurors of the North American Car, Truck and Utility of the Year (NACTOY) awards announced the finalists for the 2022 awards.

The vehicles are:


  • Honda Civic
  • Lucid Air
  • Volkswagen Golf R, GTI


  • Ford Maverick
  • Hyundai Santa Cruz
  • Rivian R1T


  • Ford Bronco
  • Genesis GV70
  • Hyundai IONIQ 5

These nine vehicles were winnowed by the 50 jurors from magazines, newspapers, websites, and television and radio station from a group of 23 semifinalists.

What’s interesting is that in all three categories there are electric vehicles: the Lucid Air, the Rivian R1T, and the Hyundai IONIQ 5.

There is a compact sedan (Civic) and a set of hot hatches (the Golf R and GTI).

There is a pair of trucks that have a compact footprint (Maverick and Santa Cruz), something we haven’t seen for years.

There is a utility that is designed and engineered to take on the tough trails (Bronco) and another that have high levels of refinement (GV70).

It would be hard for a consumer to go wrong right now in the market (assuming that they can actually get a vehicle due to the supply chain issues).

It would be impossible to go wrong making a selection from that list.

(Full disclosure: I am one of the 50 jurors.)

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