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
BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo
Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon
Ford Fusion/Fusion Hybrid
Hyundai Genesis Coupe
Hyundai Elantra Touring
Lexus HS250 H
Lexus IS250/350 C
Mazda3 and Mazdaspeed3
Volkswagen Golf/Golf TDI
2010 North American Truck of the Year Nominees
BMW X5 xDrive35d
Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid
Ford Transit Connect
GMC Sierra Hybrid
Land Rover LR4
Volkswagen Touareg V-6 TDI