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English accounting giant Deloitte announced the shortlist for its annual “North American Car, Truck, and Utility Vehicle of the Year Award” (NACTOY). But with many of the models included still not on the market, consumers are left asking the question, “How do they know these ones are the best?”
2021 has not been kind to the auto industry. The pandemic that began the year before caused a major slump in new car sales. Lifted lockdown procedures in the spring brought a quick influx of demand, but a global chip shortage blocked automakers from capitalizing and bouncing back.
As a result, many new cars promised for the 2022 model year have yet to see the light of day, which is why an announcement in late September confused so many in the industry.
How does Deloitte choose the ‘Car of the Year’?
Websites and car magazines like Car and Driver and MotorTrend all critique the industry’s models throughout the year. And every year, they all make their lists of favorites, awarding brands based on rigorous test drives and inspections.
Kelley Blue Book (KBB) says Deloitte’s NACTOY Awards are a little different. Instead of relying on their own testing, the multinational professional services firm compiles a jury of 50 automotive journalists from the U.S. and Canada to vote for their favorite models of the year.
KBB’s own awards would not be able to be given at this point in the year, since their writers base their judgments on the publication’s own hands-on reviewing process.
Deloitte, on the other hand, asks the opinions of 50 journalists to determine its winners—opinions that can be given without any real experience with the models in question.
What models made the ‘North American Car of the Year’ shortlist?
Deloitte’s jury awards three vehicles every year: a car, a truck, and an SUV. This year, six of the eight cars on the shortlist were made by luxury brands. The Honda Civic and Volkswagen Golf Mk8 GTI were the only two models included that started near $30,000 or lower.
The finalists of the truck category are interesting for a different reason. Two of them, the Ford Maverick and the Hyundai Sant Cruz, reignited the compact pickup segment this year.
Two others, the GMC Hummer EV and the Rivian R1T, are brand-new electric trucks that haven’t reached consumers yet.
Four models with plug-in powertrains also made this shortlist of SUVs, including two Hyundais, the plug-in Jeep Cherokee, and the Volkswagen ID.4. The Ford Bronco, Genesis GV70, Kia Carnival, and Nissan Pathfinder also made the list.
What 2022 model should you buy?
It’s still too early to tell what models will win the North American Car of the Year Awards. And, oddly, it’s even harder to determine which 2022 models will turn out best since so many of them still haven’t reached dealerships. But keeping a close eye on awards like this will help steer you in the right direction.
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