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Ford, Honda Win 2022 North American Vehicle Awards

ford-bronco-2021-54-angle--blue--dynamic--exterior--off-road--rear.jpg 2021 Ford Bronco | Cars.com photo by Evan Sears

Ford and Honda have taken home three influential awards among this year’s new or redesigned cars. The 2021 Ford Bronco SUV, 2022 Ford Maverick pickup truck, and 2022 Honda Civic sedan and hatchback took top honors for the North American Car, Truck and Utility Vehicle of the Year awards, an accolade given by an independent panel with dozens of jurors.

Related: 2021 Ford Bronco Review: Worth the Bucks

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NACTOY, as it’s colloquially known, announced the news in Detroit today after successive rounds of voting. Fifty automotive journalists from various publications, including myself and Cars.com Executive Editor Joe Wiesenfelder, comprise the organization’s voting body.

From the dozens of nameplates redesigned or introduced each year, NACTOY votes on three annual awards: one for best car, another for best truck and a third for best utility vehicle. As the acronym suggests, that wasn’t always the case. Historically known only as the North American Car and Truck of the Year, NACTOY was formed in 1994 to award the best car and truck each year, with the latter category including pickup trucks, minivans and SUVs. Beginning in 2017, the organization formed a new category, Utility Vehicles, to split off most SUVs and minivans.

From a pool of 23 semifinalists announced in September 2021 — all of them new or substantially updated vehicles set to go on sale in Canada, Mexico or the U.S. within the 2022 calendar year — NACTOY narrowed the list to nine finalists in November, with three per category. Each of today’s winners beat out two finalists:

  • The Bronco beat out the Genesis GV70, a compact luxury SUV from Hyundai’s luxury brand, as well as the Ioniq 5, an all-electric hatchbacklike SUV. (Don’t confuse the Bronco with the Bronco Sport, an SUV built off a separate platform despite similar naming.)
  • The Maverick beat out the R1T, an all-electric pickup truck from upstart automaker Rivian, as well as the Hyundai Santa Cruz, a compact pickup.
  • The Civic beat out the Lucid Air, an electric luxury sedan from another new automaker on the block, and Volkswagen’s stateside offerings from the eighth-generation Golf hatchback, the Golf GTI and Golf R.

It’s a testament to the emergence of EVs that each group of finalists had one gas-free contender. Although none of them carried the day, you don’t have to go back far to see the last time an EV took home a NACTOY title. That would be 2021, when the all-electric Ford Mustang Mach-E took top SUV honors. In fact, plug-in vehicles have contributed toward NACTOY titles, or won them outright, for more than a decade: The Chevrolet Bolt EV took honors as the top car in 2017, while Volkswagen’s then-redesigned Golf family, which included an all-electric e-Golf, won NACTOY’s car award in 2015. The Chevrolet Volt, a plug-in hatchback with a gasoline range extender, won in 2011.

Don’t confuse NACTOY awards with Cars.com’s own Best Of Awards, which we’ll release in the weeks to come. Stay tuned for more.

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