2010 Ford Fusion HybridEnlarge Photo
Each fall, 50 journalists from the most respected automotive media outlets around the world 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.
I'm proud to report that this year I was selected as a member of the NACOTY jury. It's an honor that roughly equates to 20 years of weekends pouring 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.
Now, without further ado, let’s see which car and truck took out this year’s award. The 2010 Ford Transit Connect is the 2010 NATOTY, its slab-sided appearance speaking of utility and functionality. On the car side, the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid wins the 2010 NACOTY award, its efficient hybrid drivetrain good looks, fine handling and solid value combining to win the day. Ford's domination of both Car and Truck of the Year awards will no doubt be noticed within the industry, and the Blue Oval can be relied up to capitalize on the success in its market, too.
To be eligible, a vehicle must be "all new" or "substantially changed" from the previous model.
Interestingly, Chrysler-branded vehicles were surprisingly absent from the list, while the rest of the field was almost equally divided among Japanese, European and American brands.
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.