NACTOY Announces Initial List

These are key cars, trucks and utilities being made available in the U.S. this year

By Gary S. Vasilash

At the risk of turning this into the non-official site of The North American Car, Truck and Utility Vehicle of the Year (NACTOY) Awards™, it is worth noting that the organization* announced its list of 38 cars, trucks and utility vehicles will be eligible for the 2022 awards.

That’s 12 cars. Eight trucks. And 18 utility vehicles.

“Utilities of all types and sizes continue as the largest and most popular vehicle category, so the large number of them comes as no surprise. However, the number of eligible pickups is the most we’ve seen in several years,” said NACTOY president Gary Witzenburg.

So, what are they?

Car of the Year

  • Audi A3
  • Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing
  • Genesis G70
  • Honda Civic Sedan
  • Karma GS-6
  • Lucid Air
  • Maserati MC20
  • Mercedes-Benz EQS
  • Mercedes-Benz S-Class
  • Subaru BRZ
  • Toyota GR 86
  • Volkswagen Golf Mk VIII (Golf R/Golf GTI)

Truck of the Year

  • Ford F-150 Raptor
  • Ford Maverick
  • GMC HUMMER EV
  • Hyundai Santa Cruz
  • Nissan Frontier
  • Rivian R1T
  • Tesla Cybertruck
  • Toyota Tundra

Utility Vehicle of the Year

  • Acura MDX
  • Buick Envision
  • Chevrolet Bolt EUV
  • Ford Bronco
  • Genesis GV70
  • Hyundai IONIQ 5
  • Hyundai Tucson (HEV/ICE/PHEV)
  • Infiniti QX60
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee (ICE, PHEV, L)
  • Jeep Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer
  • Kia Carnival
  • Lexus NX
  • Mazda MX-30 electric
  • Mitsubishi Outlander
  • Nissan Pathfinder
  • Toyota Corolla Cross
  • VW ID.4
  • VW Taos

*The organization consists of 50 jurors from print, online, radio and broadcast media across the U.S. and Canada.

A Look at the Class of 2021

Vehicles, not college grads, that is.

By Gary S. Vasilash

There are lots of new vehicles that have been or will be introduced this year. So on this edition of “Autoline After Hours” we dedicate the show to talking about some of them.

And the “we” includes “Autoline’s” John McElroy; Jennifer Newman, editor-in-chief of Cars.com; Gary Witzenburg, president of the North American Car, Truck and Utility of the Year Awards and freelance journalist, and me.

The GMC HUMMER EV Pickup (Image: GMC)

Among the vehicles discussed:

  • Acura MDX: Fourth generation of the utility. Three rows. Edgier styling. Solid suspension. What’s not to like? Apparently the True Touchpad Interface.
  • Buick Envision: A crossover with meticulous attention to detail, inside and out. Does the fact that it is made in China have anything to do with that?
  • Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing and CT4-V Blackwing: A lesser bat-out-of-hell (the 4 has a 472-hp engine) and a full-blown one (the 5 has a 668-hp engine).
  • Chevy Bolt EUV: The second electric vehicle (EV) in the lineup that looks more like an SUV, presumably to appeal to those who can’t get enough of that body style.
  • Ford Bronco: A hard-core off-road vehicle, coming soon to a driveway near you. Get the Sasquatch Package and get extra ground clearance and the approach and departure angles that make climbing rocks not an issue. Get the optional Honda
  • GMC HUMMER EV Pickup. 1,000 hp 11,500 lb-ft of torque. 0 to 60 mph in 3 seconds. 350+ miles of driving range. Fast charge up to 100 miles in 10 minutes. You can’t get a reservation for Edition 1, which is coming out this fall and has an MSRP of $112,595. In the fall of 22 there will be more available with a reduced price: $99,995.
  • Honda Civic Sedan: The 11th generation appears to be what will bring Honda back to being Honda. Which should make sedan enthusiasts every enthusiastic.
  • Hyundai Santa Cruz and Tucson and IONIQ 5: whether it is a little truck-like vehicle, a compact sport ute that comes with two flavors of hybrid as well as a conventional ICE powertrain, or a fully electric crossover, seems that Hyundai is the Overachiever of the Year.
  • Kia Carnival: Don’t call this a “minivan.” Don’t.
  • Nissan Frontier: It has been a while since Nissan has brought out a new version of its pickup (e.g., the one that is out now appeared in. . . 1998), so they’ve clearly had time to get this one right.
  • Rivian R1T: Will this electric pickup from a startup be a success in the market?

And much, much more.

Which you can see right here.