The 2009 North American International Auto Show in Detroit is looming ever closer, which means the process to choose the 2009 North American Car and Truck of the Year has begun. The organization behind the very prestigious awards has trotted out the list of semi-finalists for both awards, which includes 26 vehicles total with 14 contenders for COTY and 12 for TOTY.
The defining line between each category has been muddled this year by a bunch of crossovers that could be considered either car or truck, though most were placed in the Truck category except for the new Toyota Venza. There are also two diesel-powered models being considered: the VW Jetta TDI and Mercedes-Benz ML320 BlueTec.

The jury that decides the winners is comprised entirely of automotive journalists, two of which are part of the Autoblog family: John McElroy who writes a weekly editorial called Autoline on Autoblog and Gary Witzenburg who writes a weekly editorial called At Witz' End on AutoblogGreen.

While the 2009 TOTY award is likely to go to either the new Dodge Ram or Ford F-150, this year's coveted COTY award will be the most hotly contested one in recent memory. Seriously, which one would you choose? The giant-slaying GT-R? The class-busting Genesis? The Hail Mary pass XF? The techno starship MKS? The Grade-A retro Challenger? You get the idea. Vote for which vehicle you'd like to win in each category below in our straw polls.

2009 Car of the Year
Audi A4 1 (7.1%)
BMW 1 Series 1 (7.1%)
Cadillac CTS-V 1 (7.1%)
Dodge Challenger 1 (7.1%)
Ford Flex 1 (7.1%)
Honda Fit 1 (7.1%)
Hyundai Genesis 1 (7.1%)
Jaguar XF 1 (7.1%)
Lincoln MKS 1 (7.1%)
Mazda6 1 (7.1%)
Nissan GT-R 1 (7.1%)
Pontiac G8 1 (7.1%)
Toyota Venza 1 (7.1%)
Volkswagen Jetta TDI 1 (7.1%)

2009 Truck of the Year
BMW X6 1 (8.3%)
Chevrolet Traverse 1 (8.3%)
Dodge Ram 1 (8.3%)
Ford F-150 1 (8.3%)
Honda Pilot 1 (8.3%)
Infiniti FX35/50 1 (8.3%)
Kia Borrego 1 (8.3%)
Mercedes-Benz ML320 BlueTec 1 (8.3%)
Nissan Murano 1 (8.3%)
Saturn Vue 2-Mode Hybrid 1 (8.3%)
Subaru Forester 1 (8.3%)
Volkswagen Tiguan 1 (8.3%)

[Source: Inside Line]

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