In December, a panel of 50 journalists named six finalists for the two awards. On the car side, the NACOTY jurors put the Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra, and Volkswagen Passat up for top honors. In trucks, which includes vehicles classified as trucks by the EPA, the finalists included the BMW X3, Honda CR-V, and Land Rover Range Rover Evoque.
Last year, the NACOTY jurors, including High Gear Media's Marty Padgett, narrowed down the list from a set of 24 vehicles, including seven trucks and 17 cars.
To be eligible for either award, a vehicle must be substantially changed or new from the prior year.
The North American Car of the Year and Truck of the Year jury includes U.S. and Canadian automotive journalists, with all types of media included, from online to print, to broadcast and radio.
The winners of the awards in 2011 were the Chevrolet Volt and Ford Explorer.
2012 North American Car of the Year Shortlist
Kia Rio/Rio 5
Toyota Prius V
2012 North American Truck of the Year Shortlist
Land Rover Range Rover Evoque