2012 is almost in the books and automakers are spending December gearing up for the 2013 auto show season, which tips off next month at the Detroit Auto Show. Traditionally, the latter opens up with the announcement of the North American Car and Truck/Utility of the Year awards, and this year figures to be no different.

But up until this moment, we didn't know which six vehicles would be parked ahead of the stage as finalists, with executives and engineers waiting for the winners to be disclosed. Whittled down from October's "short list" of nominees (11 cars and 10 truck/utility vehicles), the finalists are as follows:

2013 North American Car of the Year:
2013 North American Truck/Utility of the Year:
As determined by a non-profit, independent jury of 50 US and Canadian journalists(*), the pair of lists above arguably feature a surprise or two, and they open up some potentially interesting story lines. Will the Ford and Honda, which compete against each other in the marketplace, split votes among jurors who only want to vote for one family sedan? Did the Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ twins miss making the finalists' list because they were listed as separate entries, or did they just not win over enough jurors? Until the voting patterns of the jurors are released (after the awards are announced), we won't really know if any of these scenarios played into the calculations.

What do you think of these six vehicles? Which would you vote for? Which do you think will win? Participate in our polls below by guessing which vehicles will win, then state your case for who should win in Comments.

*Full disclosure: Author is a NACTOY jury member.


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FINALISTS FOR NORTH AMERICAN CAR OF THE YEAR AND NORTH AMERICAN TRUCK/UTILITY OF THE YEAR ANNOUNCED

A group of 49 automotive journalists from Canada and the United States has selected the Cadillac ATS, the Ford Fusion and the Honda Accord as the finalists for the 2013 North American Car of the Year.

The Ford C-Max, Mazda CX-5 and Ram 1500 are the finalists for the 2013 North American Truck/Utility of the Year.

This year, to reflect the growing numbers of crossover vehicles in the North American market, jurors voted to change the name of North American Truck of the Year to North American Truck/Utility of the Year.

The six finalists were announced today at an Automotive Press Association luncheon in Detroit.

This is the 20th year of the awards, which 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 representing magazines, television, radio, newspapers and websites.

The awards are financed by the jurors' dues and the organization does not accept advertising or fees from automakers.

To be eligible, a vehicle must be all new or substantially changed. After considering dozens of vehicles this year, the jurors finally narrowed the field to the 11 cars and 10 trucks on which they voted.

The jurors voted early in December, sending their ballots directly to Deloitte & Touche in Detroit.

Today Diane DeFrancis, a partner at Deloitte & Touche, provided envelopes with the names of the finalists – in alphabetical order - to Lindsay Brooke, a member of the awards' organizing committee, who made the announcement.

This begins a second round of voting on the three car and three truck/utility finalists. Those ballots also go to Deloitte.

The winners will be announced at a news conference on Monday, January 14th at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

While the news conference has always been held at the North American International Auto Show, the show does not give the awards.

This is the 20th year of the awards. During the past 19 years:

* Domestic automakers have won North American Car of the Year ten times. European automakers have won four times. Japanese automakers have won three times. A Korean automaker – Hyundai - 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. (The name of the award to North American Truck/Utility of the Year has been changed starting with the 2013 award.)

Last year's winners were the Hyundai Elantra and the Range Rover Evoque.

Here are the vehicles on which the jurors voted:

North American Car of the Year
BMW 3 Series
Cadillac ATS
Chevrolet Malibu
Dodge Dart
Ford Fusion
Honda Accord
Lincoln MKZ
Nissan Altima
Scion FR-S
Subaru BRZ
Toyota Avalon

North American Truck/Utility of the Year:
Acura RDX
Audi allroad
BMW X1
Ford C-Max
Ford Escape
Hyundai Santa Fe
Infiniti JX 35
Mazda CX-5
Nissan Pathfinder
Ram 1500


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  • 89 Comments
      • 2 Years Ago
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      JGM038
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ford Fusion? Isn't that the one that Ford just told it's owners not to drive? Lol.
      Chen Gong
      • 2 Years Ago
      The Fusion? What a joke, this car got recalls in its first year. Furthermore, the finalists are just biased for The Detroit, their cars are outclassed by European and Asian car maker.
      luigi.tony
      • 2 Years Ago
      Can they keep the Ford from bursting into flames long enough to give it a test drive? Has Ford given approval to drive one yet? Or owners still waiting on a fix?
      Master Austin
      • 2 Years Ago
      I would say the Fusion will win it hands down. The turbocharged powertrain, the sporty driving dynamics, lavish cabins, techno-goodies, and Aston styling for a segment that is typically vanilla. Its the "fresh air" that usual COTY looks for. As for TOTY, stuck between the Cmax and CX5, since both do that for the segment.
        luigi.tony
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Master Austin
        OMG Merlot066, how many accounts do you have?
        ClementZ
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Master Austin
        But the Fusion isn't better than any other midsize sedan (namely the Accord in this comparison), in any way other than aesthetics. The turbo powertrains, while interesting, aren't the most fuel efficient, or the most powerful. The interior is rather small for a car of its size, as well as rather heavy. Visibility is meh at best Recalls everywhere, Techno goodies? Such as MFT which seems to have as many haters as lovers; and buttons with very little tactile feedback? Yes, it is a sporty drive. But is it sportier than the Accord?
        paqza
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Master Austin
        I think it is relevant that the Fusion has already had multiple serious recalls.
      Dwight Bynum Jr.
      • 2 Years Ago
      How the hell did the Accord make this list?!
        ChaosphereIX
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dwight Bynum Jr.
        agreed. ATS for sure. It is not every day a car finally beats the BMW 3 Series handedly...
          muspod
          • 2 Years Ago
          @ChaosphereIX
          Really?! That why you see none of them on the road. They can only dream about it..
      Famsert
      • 2 Years Ago
      ATS or Accord CX-5 or Ram Neither the Fusion or C-Max have been nearly as well reviewed as the top 2 of each category.
      muspod
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm amazed at the ATS love...How come you don't see them on the road?!!
        • 2 Years Ago
        @muspod
        [blocked]
          muspod
          • 2 Years Ago
          I'm the idiot?! Look at both of them. new malibu vs this. almost the same measurements all way round. Same humpback shape. EXCLUDING the plastic pieces. GM makes a living disguising chassis.(Escalade, Enclave, Hummer,etc..) GM put in RWD which is a step in the right direction. A good start. It's probably a good car. but for 45K? Car of the year? NO. Maybe if they sold them @ 30K. New 328's/C class/G37 are 5k less. proven. no questions or compromises. = Benchmark.
          • 2 Years Ago
          [blocked]
          • 2 Years Ago
          [blocked]
      muspod
      • 2 Years Ago
      Accord Ram hands down ATS and Fusion aren't fully baked. C-Max and CX5 are meh.. C-max more than CX5
      icemilkcoffee
      • 2 Years Ago
      I think the C-Max should be yanked from the short list until it comes back with an innocent verdict from the EPA.
      josh
      • 2 Years Ago
      with all the recalls the ford has had how do you even put it in th efinals what about the altima best in class gas mileage no stop sells
      mikeybyte1
      • 2 Years Ago
      I think Ford is out of contention due to the engine fire recalls and now the EPA questioning hybrid MPG claims. So they won't win due to that. Which makes me go with ATS and Ram.
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