2009 North American Car and Truck of the Year Finalists Announced
Two European automakers, two domestics and for the first time a Korean automaker comprise the six finalists for the North American Car of the Year and the North American Truck of the Year awards, it was announced Dec. 18.
Two of the six vehicles are new, clean diesels that can be sold in all 50 states. In 16 years, this is the first time a diesel-powered vehicle has been a finalist.
The awards are designed to recognize the most outstanding vehicles of the year based on factors that include innovation, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction and value for the dollar.
To be eligible, vehicles must be "all-new" or "substantially changed" from the previous model. This year the jury considered more than 50 vehicles and finally settled on 14 cars and 11 trucks that deserved to be on the ballot.
Last year the North American Car of the Year was the Chevrolet Malibu and the North American Truck of the Year was the Mazda CX-9.
This is the 16th year of the awards, which are funded exclusively by the jurors. During that time:
- Hybrids have been honored four times.
- Domestic automakers have won North American Car of the Year eight times. Japanese automakers have won three times. European automakers have won four times.
- Domestic automakers have won North American Truck of the Year nine times. Japanese automakers have won four times. European automakers have won twice.
2009 North American Car of the Year nominees:
- Audi A4
- BMW 1 Series
- Cadillac CTS-V
- Dodge Challenger
- Ford Flex
- Honda Fit
- Hyundai Genesis
- Jaguar XF
- Lincoln MKS
- Mazda 6
- Nissan GT-R
- Pontiac G8
- Toyota Venza
- Volkswagen Jetta TDI
2009 North American Truck of the Year nominees:
- BMW X6
- Chevrolet Traverse
- Dodge Ram
- Ford F-150
- Honda Pilot
- Infiniti FX35/50
- Kia Borrego
- Mercedes-Benz ML320 BlueTEC
- Nissan Murano
- Subaru Forester
- Volkswagen Tiguan
More information on the awards -- including the names of jurors as well as previous finalists and winners -- is available at: www.northamericancaroftheyear.org.