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2010 North American Car of the Year: And the Nominees Are...

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Each fall, 50 journalists from the most respected automotive media outlets get together to choose NACOTYs--in long form, the North American Car of the Year and Truck of the Year.

In just a few years of existence, the NACOTY have become one of the most respected awards in the industry. Designed to recognize the outstanding new vehicles in their segments, the awards also have given car shoppers and car enthusiasts an inside tip on the vehicles driving the future of the auto industry--vehicles like the 2009 Hyundai Genesis, the 2008 Mazda CX-9, and the 2007 Chevrolet Silverado.

The jury pool for the 2010 awards reads like a who's who of the automotive media.  It includes editors from Edmunds, Road & Track, Automotive News, Kelley Blue Book and USA Today, as well as the Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times, the Boston Globe, the Toronto Star and the Detroit Free Press. The jury also includes an experienced group of freelancers published across the Web, in print, and on camera.

I'm proud to report that this year, I've been selected as a member of the NACOTY jury. It's an honor that roughly equates to 20 years of weekends poring over media kits and sites, shooting cars at sunrise and dusk, praying for a sane driving partner on press events, and sitting in the middle seat on cross-country flights to preview next year's new cars and trucks. And it's pretty humbling, when you consider the experienced hands already on deck.

Along with the other newbies--Car and Driver editor Eddie Alterman and freelancer Ezra Dyer--I'm spending this month catching up on the vehicles introduced for the 2010 model year that made the list of nominees. You'll read about all of them in future posts across High Gear Media's network of Web sites. And later this fall, you'll get the earliest rundown of the finalists for January's 2010 NACOTY awards, coming to you from the 2010 Detroit auto show.

For now, take a look at this list and let us know which car and truck qualifies as your NACOTY. While you're at it, why not write about it for High Gear Media, too?

2010 North American Car of the Year Nominees
Audi S4
BMW 335d
BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo
Buick LaCrosse
Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon
Chevrolet Camaro
Ford Fusion/Fusion Hybrid
Ford Mustang/GT500
Ford Taurus/SHO
Honda Insight
Hyundai Genesis Coupe
Hyundai Elantra Touring
Jaguar XFR
Kia Forte
Kia Soul
Lexus HS250 H
Lexus IS250/350 C
Mazda3 and Mazdaspeed3
Mercedes E-Class
Nissan Cube
Nissan 370Z
Porsche Panamera
Subaru Legacy
Suzuki Kizashi
Toyota Prius
Volkswagen Golf/Golf TDI

2010 North American Truck of the Year Nominees

Acura ZDX
Audi Q5
BMW X5 xDrive35d
Cadillac SRX
Chevrolet Equinox
Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid
Ford Transit Connect
GMC Terrain
GMC Sierra Hybrid
Honda Crosstour
Land Rover LR4
Lexus RX350/450h
Lincoln MKT
Subaru Outback
Toyota 4Runner
Volvo XC60
Volkswagen Touareg V-6 TDI

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Comments (2)
  1. So...what happened to the MKS with its new ecoboost?
    Its a completely different car.
    Post Reply
    Bad stuff?

  2. First, congratulations on your appointment to the NACOTY jury. It is a big deal, and a real honor. Just remember that power corrupts, and absolute power is absolute.
    Next, I’d give my nod to the 2010 Subaru Legacy and 2010 Ford Fusion.
    I’ll start with the obvious – all wheel drive. These are the only two mid-size / mid-class sedans that offer AWD. In a segment that is otherwise saturated, having the peace of mind that comes with all four wheels turning is a real bonus. Plus, the handling is improved.
    Speaking of handling, that brings us to my second point – performance. Unlike the ‘other’ Big-3 (Altima, Accord, and Camry), those of us that want to both pick up groceries and enjoy the ride to the store can appreciate the time and effort Subaru and Ford invested in the Legacy and Fusion, especially when looking at the GT and 3.6R (Legacy), and Sport (Fusion) models.
    Finally, how about price? You get the most for the least with these two cars. During this time of economic strife, it’s nice to know that I can get a mighty engine, a lot of torque, and even AWD, for not much money. Maybe this is why Subaru is one of the only manufacturers to stay in the black during this downturn, and Ford is unanimously the new leader in American Car sales.
    The Legacy is the flagship of the company I admire most, and the Fusion is the best model out there representing this nation’s ability to produce quality automobiles.
    Post Reply
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