Winnowing the good from the better, to ultimately arrive at the best car and truck/utility of the 2013 model year, the jurors sort through their experiences in the cream of the current model year's crop. Our own executive editor Marty Padgett is one of those jurors.
Today, the announcement of the vehicles that made the short list brings us one step closer to the final winner that will be announced in January at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show.
Before then, an even shorter list of the top contenders in each segment will be announced, so stay tuned for the next phase in the 2013 North American Car and Truck of the Year awards.
Making the short list is itself something of an achievement, putting a car among the top dozen or so of the new model year. For the cars, the list reads like you'd expect it to:
2013 NACTOY Car short list
BMW 3 Series
Really, no surprises there. The list spans the luxury, sport, and family segments and does it with the cars that have already been marked as standouts in our own reviews.
Looking at the truck/utility list, we're reminded once again how inexact and ill-suited the category's title is to the reality of the modern vehicle marketplace. There are some vehicles here that really aren't trucks or utilities at all, like the Audi allroad and Ford C-Max.
2013 NACTOY Truck/Utility short list
Hyundai Santa Fe
Infiniti JX 35
For more information on the cars above, click on the linked names to see our latest first-person takes on what they're like on the road and behind the wheel.