The finalists for the North American Car and Truck/Utility of the Year 2016 awards have just been announced and four of the six finalists herald from the Land of the Rising Sun.
The finalists for the North American Car of the Year 2016 are the Honda Civic, Mazda Miata MX-5 and Chevrolet Malibu. Meanwhile, the finalists for the North American Truck/Utility of the Year are the Volvo XC90 and Japanese duo, the Honda Pilot and Nissan Titan XD.
Like the European COTY, but unlike lots of other “car of the year” awards, the NACTOY results are not decided by a single automotive publication. Instead, a completely independent jury consisting of 53 automotive journalists in the United States and Canada vote on the winners. The finalists and eventual winners are elected based on the benchmarks they’ve set in their segments for innovation, safety, handling, design, value and driver satisfaction.
The aforementioned 53 jurors voted on their respective winners earlier in the month but the results won’t be known until January 11th. On that day, the winners will be revealed during a news conference at the Detroit Auto Show 2016.
Each of the three Car of the Year finalists, the Honda Civic, Mazda Miata MX-5 and Chevrolet Malibu, appeal to different audiences. While the MX-5 is an affordable sports car, the Civic is an ever-popular hatchback and the Malibu is an American favorite mid-sized sedan.
In 2015, the Volkswagen Golf and Ford F-150 were named the winners as ZCar and Truck of the Year respectively.