By Gary S. Vasilash*
The finalists for the 2023 North American Car, Truck and Utility Vehicle of the Year awards were announced today in Los Angeles at the LA Auto Show.
A full third of the finalists are no surprise:
- Chevrolet Silverado ZR2
- Ford F-150 Lightning
- Lordstown Endurance
That’s because those trucks were in the semifinalist category, too, and as there are groups of three. . .
As for the cars, there is something of an interesting divergence.
There are the Acura Integra, the Genesis G80 EV and the Nissan Z.
The Integra and the Z are both sporty cars from brands that are, comparatively speaking, well established.
Genesis is a comparatively new marque. And not only is the G80 EV an (obviously) electric vehicle while both the others have internal combustion under their hoods, it is more of a stately, stylish sedan, not something that would likely end up as a screensaver on the gear of pre-licensed teens.
And then there are the utilities.
All electric vehicles:
- Cadillac LYRIQ
- Genesis GV60
- Kia EV6
The Cadillac and the Genesis are both in the luxury category, while the Kia is a mass-market vehicle.
The LYRIQ is Cadillac’s first major step toward becoming an all-electric company. The GV60 is the first purpose-built EV for the Genesis brand (e.g., there is a non-EV G80). And in the case of Kia, it is no stranger to EVs, as it has had both the Niro and Soul with that powertrain option for a few years.
Every year the NACTOY judges have some challenging choices. This year I’d say they are particularly demanding.
One thing is certain, however: an electric powertrain will certainly be under the hood of one of the winners, and it is completely possible it could run the table.
*I am a NACTOY juror, so I don’t want to make any specific predictions beyond that EV one.