2012 North American Car & Truck of the Year Award Winners announced

As the curtains rose for the annual North American International Auto Show in Detroit early this week, one of the world’s most-awaited automotive announcements was made. The winners of the 2012 North American Car of the Year (NACOTY) and North American Truck of the Year (NATOTY) awards, considered to be the most prestigious and important in the industry, were revealed. The awards, currently in their 19th year of existence, is among the very best as more than 50 jurors from an assortment of automotive media in USA & Canada converge together and pick the winners. For 2012, it is the Hyundai Elantra and Land Rover Range Rover Evoque that has come out on tops in cars and trucks respectively.
If you thought that the critically-acclaimed, multiple award-winning and super-successful Sonata was the best Hyundai could offer, you might be proved wrong. Whatever the Sonata achieved a year back with so much fanfare, the Elantra has did that all and more. Quite understandably, the media, the public, the critics and the fans can’t have enough of it and Hyundai is not able to produce enough of them either. That the Elantra has won this award should not be a big surprise then. The Passat that best signifies Volkswagen’s resurgence in the North American market takes the runner up spot. Quite surprisingly for a Ford, the Focus ends up last amongst the finalists.

Commenting on the title winner, Jayne O’Donnell, a member of the jury from USA Today said "The Hyundai Elantra is sporty, yet sensible; luxurious, yet affordable; spunky, but safe. The Elantra is a series of paradoxes and every one is another argument for the latest, impressive entry in the Hyundai lineup".


1. Hyundai Elantra – 174
2. Volkswagen Passat – 161
3. Ford Focus – 155


* 2011 - Chevrolet Volt
* 2010 - Ford Fusion Hybrid
* 2009 - Hyundai Genesis
* 2008 - Chevrolet Malibu
* 2007 - Saturn Aura

To say that the Range Rover Evoque is a game-changing model for Land Rover would be an understatement to the model's abilties. And, if the Evoque keeps winning awards at this rate, Land Rover might end up using every inch of display space available at its headquarters. This smashing looking vehicle from Land Rover has changed the way we look at crossovers with a design that instantly strikes an emotional chord with the onlookers. And the result proves that with the Evoque winning by a whooping margin of 112 points. Compare this to the cars where all three finalists were separated by just 19 points and you get the picture. Honda’s successful redesign of the CR-V comes runner up with the BMW X3 taking the third and final spot.

Alex Taylor of Fortune magazine had this to say about the Evoque - "Range Rover successfully charts a new direction for the venerable SUV trailblazer with a fresh design and advanced thinking about environmental issues".


1. Land Rover Range Rover Evoque – 254
2. Honda CR-V – 142
3. BMW X3 – 94


* 2011 - Ford Explorer
* 2010 - Ford Transit Connect
* 2009 - Ford F-150
* 2008 - Mazda CX-9
* 2007 - Chevrolet Silverado
As we posted before, the finalists for both the titles were shortlisted by the jurors from a list of more than 30 models launched last year. Unlike in 2011 when we were spot on in guessing the winners, we were only partly right this year as the Hyundai Elantra sprung a surprise by leapfrogging Ford Focus for the title. With the Evoque already launched in India, we are sincerely hoping that the Elantra will make it to our shores at the earliest, now that Hyundai has showcased the car in the 2012 Indian Auto Expo.

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