Land Rover Range Rover EvoqueAnd now, ladies and gentlemen, the moment you've all been waiting for... the Car of the Year awards to rule all Car of the Year awards... the definitive selection of the very best the industry has to offer has been decided. Well, we don't know about all that, but the votes have been tabulated and the assembled jurists (including our own Chris Paukert) have selected the 2012 North American Car and Truck of the Year.

The finalists were whittled down from a list of 30 candidates to include the Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra and Volkswagen Passat (on the car side of the equation) and the BMW X3, Honda CR-V and Range Rover Evoque (on the truck side, despite them all being car-based crossovers). And after (what we hope was) careful consideration, the panelists have selected the Elantra and the Evoque as the overall winners.

The awards will undoubtedly sit proudly atop the mantles at both Hyundai and Jaguar/Land Rover's headquarters, but will surely be received with particular jubilation by Land Rover, which has won the award for the first time in this, its largest market.

UPDATE: Official press release with voting tally added after the jump.

Show full PR text

Hyundai Elantra, Land Rover Range Rover Evoque Win North American Car and Truck of the Year


DETROIT, - The Hyundai Elantra is the 2012 North American Car of the Year and the Land Rover Range Rover Evoque is the 2012 North American Truck of the Year.

The winners were revealed Monday morning at a news conference at the North American International Auto Show.

The winners were chosen by a jury of 50 automotive journalists from the United States and Canada.

The awards are unique in the United States because instead of being given by a single media outlet they are awarded by a coalition of automotive journalists from the United States and Canada who represent magazines, television, radio, newspapers and web sites.

The awards are designed to recognize the most outstanding new vehicles of the year. These vehicles are benchmarks in their segments based on factors including innovation, comfort, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction and value for the dollar.

It is the second win for Hyundai. In 2009 the Genesis won. The Sonata was one of three finalists last year.

It was the first win for Land Rover although Land Rovers were finalists twice before.

The jurors gave the Elantra 174 points, the Passat 161 and the Focus 155.

The jurors gave the Evoque 254 points, the CR-V 142 and the X3 94.

"The Hyundai Elantra is sporty, yet sensible. Luxurious, yet affordable. Spunky, but safe. The Elantra is a series of paradoxes and every one is another argument for the latest, impressive entry in the Hyundai lineup," wrote Jayne O'Donnell, a member of the jury from USA Today.

Another juror, Alex Taylor, of Fortune magazine, wrote: "Range Rover successfully charts a new direction for the venerable SUV trailblazer with a fresh design and advanced thinking about environmental issues."

Domestic automakers have won North American Car of the Year 10 times. Japanese automakers have won three times. European automakers have won four times. A Korean automaker has won twice.

Domestic automakers have won North American Truck of the Year 12 times. Japanese automakers have won four times. European automakers have won three times.

This was the 19th year of the awards and it was the strongest showing by European automakers in 15 years with BMW, Land Rover and Volkswagen each having finalists. In 1997 Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar and BMW were the three car finalists with the winner being the Mercedes SLK.

To be eligible a vehicle must be all new or substantially changed. The jurors considered dozens of new vehicles before sending their ballots to Michelle Collins, a partner at Deloitte & Touche early in December.

On December 15th the three car and truck finalists were announced. But only Ms. Collins knew the winners until she handed over envelopes today to Tony Swan, editor-at-large at Car and Driver magazine and a member of the awards' organizing committee. Mr. Swan announced the winners.

This is the 19th year of the awards, which were inspired by the "Car of the Year" in Europe.

They are administered by an organizing committee and are funded with dues paid by the jurors. There are no paid positions. Automakers do not pay to have their vehicles considered or to use the awards in ads.

The "2011 North American Car of the Year" was the Chevrolet Volt.

Last year's "2011 North American Truck of the Year" was the Ford Explorer.

MORE INFORMATION: More information on the awards -- including names of the jurors, previous finalists and winners -- is available at: www.northamericancaroftheyear.org.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 39 Comments
      Ford 4 Life
      • 2 Years Ago
      All the new cars and this thing is the COTY? JOKE!!!
      Dave
      • 2 Years Ago
      The Focus is twice the car the E-blah-tra is. I test drove both. What a joke.
      broq3.5
      • 2 Years Ago
      This must be an award based soley on looks, because I the elantra is pretty, but the focus feels special. I drove them both and the only thing the elantra has over the focus is fancier styling and a bigger interior. Other than that it could be any other compact. When I drove the focus I felt like I was driving a different class of car.
        MJC
        • 2 Years Ago
        @broq3.5
        I agree with you. I want to love the Elantra because it looks so good and it really is a great car. It just feels cheap and flimsy to me...
        kplayon
        • 2 Years Ago
        @broq3.5
        http://bottomline.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/01/09/10071041-why-ford-didnt-win-car-of-the-year It tells why the Focus didn't win. Btw, this is just information, not my opinion.
        Famsert
        • 2 Years Ago
        @broq3.5
        I'm guessing you don't own the focus because you didn't notice the problems you only notice when owning the car - flaky transmissions and the terrible touch system.
      fcarlo17
      • 2 Years Ago
      Elantra? I guess not a lot of great new cars were launched last year. I mean, it's a good car, heck it's value is great, but the best car? Not yet there.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Mobis21
      • 2 Years Ago
      Congratulations to both Hyundai and Land Rover.
      Jesus!
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wonder how much Hyundai shelled out to win this award lol. Yes the Hyundai is a better car than it replaced, but it is not Focus good. My friend has an Elantra and it does feel cheap and thin and not as solid as my 12 Focus. The looks are digusting on the Elantra tho..it looks like an alien.
        Famsert
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jesus!
        Too bad te Focus looks like crap outside and especially inside. With a redesign the Focus could win. Oh and after they fix the transmissions.
      dohc73
      • 2 Years Ago
      Why didn't the Focus win? Ford didn't take a bailout so it has to be good enough to win, no?
        Dayv
        • 2 Years Ago
        @dohc73
        Clearly the voters forgot to include "didn't take a bailout" as a criteria in the value and drive of the car.
      IBx27
      • 2 Years Ago
      If you have a pulse, you won't get one of those. The Evoque is winning everything just on design, and I feel that the people who vote in all of these competitions don't actually drive the cars they're supposed to be judging.
        sk
        • 2 Years Ago
        @IBx27
        You should go to a Barnes and Noble and go through the car mags there. Every respected Car mag from US and UK have driven the Evoque and came out thoroughly impressed.I havent seen a single neg test drive review so far. I am keeping an eye on the reviews because I am buying it soon!
          vince
          • 2 Years Ago
          @sk
          C&D review that I read was generally positive, but said it was basically middle of a crowded field when it came to engine, ride and handling. That is still good considering the field overall is very competitive, but they also pointed out its starting price gets you a fairly loaded competitor with a 6 cylinder.
        OrderOfMen
        • 2 Years Ago
        @IBx27
        I guess they should be more like you and drive them both before judging? oh, wait...
      Jerry
      • 2 Years Ago
      Lame...
      us_president
      • 2 Years Ago
      I drove both the Elantra and the Focus recently and the Hyundai is the MUCH better car. It has the better ride, a far better engine, it's also quieter, more stylish and has the better interior package. You should just sit in one of those Fords to realize how vulgar and cheap their interior designs really are. It simply doesn't have the understated sophistication of the Hyundai. A Ford will always be a Ford, in other words a piece of junk.
        merlot066
        • 2 Years Ago
        @us_president
        And there's nothing understated (or luxurious) about the Elantra
        merlot066
        • 2 Years Ago
        @us_president
        Saying Ford will always be a piece of junk in the same breath in which Hyundai was mentioned... good one.
      tipdrip215
      • 2 Years Ago
      The more I look at the front end of the Elantra, the more I think they stole the joker face from the Mazda 3.
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