The 50 experienced jurors (myself included) of the North American Car, Truck, and Utility of the Year Awards have winnowed the 47 eligible new models for 2023 down to nine finalists in preparation for the announcement of the winners in each category in January.
In addition to test-driving these new models at manufacturers' introduction events, jurors also gather for the organization's annual roundup of candidate vehicles for direct head-to-head comparisons. Criteria include innovation, design, safety, performance, technology, driver satisfaction, user experience, and value.
“Our nine finalists for 2023 represent a diverse cross-section of this year’s best new vehicles, ranging from sports cars to powerful pickups to three electric utility vehicles – which is the first time in our history that all three finalists in a specific category are battery-electric,” said NACTOY President Gary Witzenburg. “Our jurors drew on their deep industry expertise and unique testing and evaluation techniques to narrow the field from 26 semifinalists to three vehicles in each category, which includes a record-breaking six electric vehicles."
While many publications announce their own "best of the year" awards, NACTOY’s awards are unique because they are not decided by a single publication. Those jurors vote three times during the year to reduce the list of eligible vehicles down to semifinalists, finalists, and, finally, winners.
The jury votes were tallied and audited by Deloitte. The selection of nine finalists is the second-to-last step in the year-long evaluation process for the three awards. The 2023 NACTOY Car, Truck, and Utility of the Year winners will be announced at a special event in Detroit on January 11, 2023.
This was corrected to reflect that the award is for the year 2023.