UPDATE: Ford has just informed the NACTOY jury that the 2015 Edge will not go on sale in time for consideration. Thus, it has been removed from the short list and the story below has been updated accordingly.

2015 model-year cars and trucks are starting to filter into dealers in earnest, and with that, the newly expanded jury from the North American Car and Truck/Utility of the Year awards is getting serious about assessing this year's talented new crop with an eye toward doling out the awards in January.

Back in the beginning of August, the NACTOY jury released this year's long list of around 60 new vehicles that it would consider for the awards. While that list basically included everything slated to go on sale in the 2015 model year, this tighter list of 10 cars and 12 truck/utility/crossover vehicles highlights the products that the self-funded, independent and non-profit jury of North American auto writers have determined to be worthy of closer inspection and consideration.

This year, no one automaker dominates the short list, but Ford, General Motors and Toyota have tied with three nominees apiece. The Blue Oval's contenders include Mustang, F-150 and the Lincoln MKC, while Toyota has its redesigned Camry, Highlander and Lexus NX crossover. Finally, GM's slate is made up of the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon twins and the Tahoe SUV. Audi, Hyundai and Mercedes-Benz have scored a pair of nominations each.

2015 North American Car of the Year Short List
  • Acura TLX
  • Audi A3
  • Chrysler 200
  • Ford Mustang
  • Honda Fit
  • Hyundai Genesis sedan
  • Hyundai Sonata
  • Mercedes-Benz C-Class
  • Toyota Camry
  • Volkswagen Golf/GTI
2015 North American Truck/Utility of the Year Short List
  • Audi Q3
  • Chevrolet Colorado
  • Chevrolet Tahoe
  • Ford F-150
  • GMC Canyon
  • Lexus NX
  • Lincoln MKC
  • Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class
  • Nissan Murano
  • Porsche Macan
  • Subaru Outback
  • Toyota Highlander
At this still-early stage in the yearly judging, most jurors have not driven every nominee due to late vehicle availability (e.g. Nissan Murano), but the panel has been encouraged to give vehicles the benefit of the doubt in voting when culling the nominees down from long list to short list in order to ensure they get their just consideration.

The jury will now focus on getting quality time behind the wheel of each vehicle, including the opportunity to drive the vehicles back-to-back in a group setting this fall before another round of ballots go out and a vote is cast to determine the three finalists in each category. The top six vehicles will then be revealed ahead of a final round of testing, analysis and voting. The winners will be revealed at a press conference that opens the Detroit Auto Show.

Which vehicles do you think should take home the coveted crystal? Which vehicles do you think will? Have your say in Comments.

Full Disclosure: Author is a NACTOY jury member.


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