Family SUVs, luxury cars, dominate North American Car of the Year's initial lists

July 5, 2016

North American Car of the Year jurors announced Wednesday their list of eligible vehicles for the 2017 awards, which include for the first time a separate category for SUVs.

The list of 43 cars, trucks, and SUVs will be winnowed down to lists of semi-finalists, which will be announced in September. Voting for the final awards will begin in late October. The car, truck, and SUV of the year award winners will be announced at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit next January.

Since the North American Car of the Year (NACTOY) awards began in 1992, SUVs have been grouped together with truck and utility vehicles in combined voting. This year's crop of SUVs were split off from trucks and the list is laden family vehicles, many with three rows, including the Mazda CX-9, Chrysler Pacifica, GMC Acadia, and Nissan Armada.

For 2017, the list of trucks is predictably shorter with Ford's F-series taking two spots (Super Duty and F-150 Raptor), and Nissan's gas-powered Titan and the Honda Ridgeline rounding out the list.

Car of the year nominees span a wide range of prices from Mitsubishi's Mirage sedan to Rolls-Royce's Dawn. No cars with a blue oval badge may be eligible for the award this year, although organizers say the list may add or drop entries as they become available by manufacturers later this year. Lincoln's Continental—which is made by parent-company Ford—was the lone car up for consideration by the Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker.

General Motors led the initial list in eligible cars, SUVs, and trucks with eight entries. Mercedes-Benz had five.

The NACTOY jury is comprised of 60 jurors from North America, including four editors from Internet Brands Automotive. Kirk Bell, Marty Padgett, Mitch McCullough, and John Voelcker are NACTOY jurors.

The list of initial NACTOY cars is as follows:

2016 Rolls-Royce Dawn

2016 Rolls-Royce Dawn

Acura NSX
Alfa Romeo Giulia
Audi A4
Audi R8
Bentley Mulsanne
Buick Cascada
Buick LaCrosse
Cadillac CT6
Chevrolet Cruze
Chevrolet Bolt
Fiat 124
Genesis G90
Hyundai Elantra
Infiniti Q60
Jaguar XE
Kia Cadenza
Lincoln Continental
Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan
Mercedes-Benz S550 Maybach
Mercedes-Benz SL-Class
Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class
Mini Clubman
Mitsubishi Mirage/G4
Porsche 718 Boxster and Cayman
Rolls-Royce Dawn
Toyota Prius Prime
Volvo S90

2017 Jaguar F-Pace

2017 Jaguar F-Pace

Audi Q7
Bentley Bentayga
Buick Envision
Cadillac XT5
Chrysler Pacifica
GMC Acadia
Infiniti QX30
Kia Sportage
Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class
Jaguar F-Pace
Mazda CX-9
Nissan Armada

2017 Nissan Armada

2017 Nissan Armada

Ford F-series Super Duty pickups
Ford F-150 Raptor
Honda Ridgeline
Nissan Titan

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