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North American Car, Truck and SUV of the Year: Civic, Maverick, Bronco

UPDATED: Tue., Jan. 11, 2022

The 2022 Honda Civic Si.  (Tribune News Service)
The 2022 Honda Civic Si. (Tribune News Service)
Henry Payne Detroit News

The envelope, please. 

The winners of the 2022 North American Car, Truck, and SUV of the Year are:

Car of the Year: 2022 Honda Civic

• Truck of the Year: 2022 Ford Maverick

• SUV of the Year: 2022 Ford Bronco

The winners were whittled from an initial list of 36 eligible cars, trucks and utility vehicles. The finalists tracked trends in the industry as consumers have moved from cars to SUVs and embraced the off-road lifestyle. Following the success of electric automaker Tesla – and under pressure from the most onerous federal regulations in 60 years – manufacturers are also flooding the market with new EVs.

The Civic beat out the Lucid Air and VW Golf GTI/Golf R. Cars have fallen out of favor in the American market with Detroit brands like Ford and Chrysler exiting the sedan market completely. But cars are still key volume segments for foreign makers and icons like the Civic and and Golf boast near luxury-grade electronics tech to go with their whip-quick handling. Startup makers like Lucid see opportunities to establish themselves in the EV market with beautiful, halo sedans.

The Maverick took the truck crown over the Hyundai Santa Cruz and Rivian R1T. EV nominees were most prevalent in the truck category, where startup and legacy automakers alike see an opportunity to use maximize the performance of electric motors’ torque.

Heavy favorite Bronco won over the Genesis GV70 and Hyundai Ioniq 5. SUVs are America’s favorite non-pickup vehicle and now take 70% of the market versus 30% for cars.

Judged by a panel of 50 independent journalists (including the author of this article) from the U.S. and Canada, the NACTOY awards are among North America’s most prestigious prizes. Jurors convened in Ann Arbor in October for a comparison drive of semi-finalists, then announced finalists last November.

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