Although the domestic auto season is not yet upon us, the picture for the 2014 model year is well established, with many models already on sale at dealerships. Likewise, the jurors of the North American Car and Truck/Utility of the Year awards are already in the thick of their new vehicle evaluations, and they've culled down their "long list" of nominees down to a tighter list of candidates. Whereas the long list essentially represents all new vehicles that are expected to launch in a given year, the "short list" below is a more focused look at what the self-funded, independent, non-profit jury of 50 North American auto writers feel is worth closer consideration.

This year's NACTOY short list is composed of 12 cars and 12 truck and utility vehicles, with the latter category once again including crossovers. The list of Car of the Year candidates covers a broad bandwidth of segments, from sporty coupes (BMW 4 Series, Chevrolet Corvette Stingray) and convertibles (Jaguar F-Type) to bread-and-butter offerings like the Chevrolet Impala, Mazda3, Mazda6 and Toyota Corolla. Vying for the Truck/Utility award is everything from the tiny Buick Encore to honking full-size pickups like the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, along with luxury CUVs like the BMW X5 and Land Rover Range Rover Sport.

Overall, General Motors enjoys a particularly robust showing this go-round, with three vehicles up for consideration in each category, and Toyota has notched a vehicle on both the car and truck lists, along with a model from its Lexus brand. Mazda has landed both of its new-for-2014 offerings on the short list, BMW and Kia both have two entries, and Nissan has a pair of vehicles including their premium Infiniti marque.

The next step in the process will see the jurors training their gaze on these short-listed vehicles before another round of voting leaves just three finalists in each category. Another round of evaluation and voting follows that, with the eventual winners announced at a press conference on the first press day of the Detroit Auto Show in January.

*Full Disclosure: Author is a NACTOY jury member.

2014 North American Car of the Year short list:


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 37 Comments
      Kuro Houou
      • 1 Year Ago
      I think the Mazda 3 should be a finalist if not winner for sure, that car is fully loaded, looks good, gets great mpg, and is a decent price, not to mention fun to drive :) But I think the Stingray will win.
        OffRoaderWrangler
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Kuro Houou
        The interior execution on the 3 is so bad. They didn't improve on the old 3 at all.
          Jeff
          • 1 Year Ago
          @OffRoaderWrangler
          Need to see it in person. Went to the local Mazda dealer last Sunday, sat in a new 3 Grand Touring. WOW! Had just left the Lexus dealer looking at the ~$50K IS and then stepped into the new 3. I was enormously impressed with the quality of the interior. Didn't feel like much of a difference from the Lexus which is the class leader. Blows away the Civic, Corolla, etc in the compact class.
      Brian
      • 1 Year Ago
      Happy that Mazda has been nominated for the past two years!
      bookemd
      • 1 Year Ago
      GM will take the car spot. Any way you slice it, they have three excellent options. They also could take the truck spot, but I think it could be the RR Sport or more likely the Cherokee.
      Muttons
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm going to predict the Stingray and Silverado winning this year. Though the Mazda 6 and Mazda 3 make compelling cases in view of their rave reviews in just about every publication. But the same can be said of the Corvette and it carries a higher profile.
      chrismcfreely
      • 1 Year Ago
      MAzda 6, GMC Sierra.
      Scr
      • 1 Year Ago
      Car will be the Impala. Truck....eh.
      Jeff
      • 1 Year Ago
      Much better than usual class of COY nominees. I believe the Corvette will win, but the Mazda 3 and Lexus IS will be very close behind, followed by the Mazda 6 and Chevy Impala too. The Corvette, Lexus IS, Mazda 3 & 6 are class leaders which I'd recommend to any prospective car shopper.
      OffRoaderWrangler
      • 1 Year Ago
      I think Impala because CR loved it and its an all around good car......I would say MDX or Sierra because the Cherokee hasn't been driven by normal people yet even though its got great reviews from the press
      mary.keana
      • 1 Year Ago
      Acura MDX Mazda 3
      dave and mary
      • 1 Year Ago
      Just simplify it and give it to the Bimmers. Best cars out there. Why do they even make other brands? Fill the world with BMW's!
        lyphesaparty
        • 1 Year Ago
        @dave and mary
        if you did that you would be adding a lot of jobs in the auto mechanic sector...
        dave and mary
        • 1 Year Ago
        @dave and mary
        Boy the people of the auto world are so serious and mad. I drive a 5 series; but I was only kidding. Dr's will prescribe prozac and ambien if you need it.
      Terry Actill
      • 1 Year Ago
      The 2014 Corolla is a truly abysmal vehicle. I honestly believe it's made from recycled soda cans. The Impala is a very nice car and I am no GM fan boy. It would deserve a win.
        DarkKnight67
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Terry Actill
        Agreed - I have seen two out on the roads. The Corolla looks like a catfish trying to suck up river mud coming at you.
      NightFlight
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm gunning for Mazda to win it. They are affordable, get fantastic gas mileage, HUGE improvements over the previous generations, are beautiful designs, etc. They really hit all the right notes.
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