Auto Industry Awards—Are They Important for Buyers?

By Lauren Fix, The Car Coach

With all the new cars, trucks, and SUVs released this year, we review and test drove hundreds of cars this year. Which ones are best, and should these awards be important to you when making decisions about new purchases?

Each year the North American Car, Truck, and Utility Vehicle of the Year Awards jury, of which I’m the past president and current juror, has been judging new vehicles and giving annual awards in three categories.

The North American Car, Truck, and Utility Vehicle of the Year Awards jury honors “excellence in innovation, design, safety, performance, technology, driver satisfaction and value in the automotive industry.” A jury of 50 professional automotive journalists drives, evaluates and votes on the finalists and winners.

Here are the 2021 contenders:

Car of the Year

Genesis G80
The G80 is a large luxury sedan that has been redesigned and all-new for the 2021 model year.

Hyundai Elantra
The compact Elantra sedan is all-new with a new hybrid and N Line sport performance option.

Nissan Sentra
Nissan’s value-based compact sedan raises the bar on economy sedans and adds in improved technology.

Truck of the Year

Ford F-150
America’s best-selling truck for the past 44 years now offers a hybrid and diesel engine options.

Jeep Gladiator Mojave
Jeep’s mid-size pickup is the first-ever desert-rated Jeep-brand vehicle.

Ram 1500 TRX
Ram comes up with a fearsome 700+ horsepower competitor for the Ford Raptor.

Utility Vehicle of the Year

Ford Mustang Mach E
The highly anticipated all-electric Mach-E is available in AWD and rear-wheel drive as a performance-oriented EV crossover.

Genesis GV80
Genesis’s first SUV that offers three-rows and two engine choices with a futuristic look.

Land Rover Defender
This is a true off-roading icon, with all-new engineering, style, technology, and capability.

Final voting for the awards will occur January 2 through 4, and the winners of the 2021 North American Car, Truck, and Utility Vehicle of the Year Awards will be announced on January 11, 2021.

The Bottom Line
Why are these awards important? Each category’s final choices have been tested and reviewed by third-party experts, including some contributors on Car Coach Reports. Sixty-eight percent of buyers check third party automotive reviews for their purchase decisions. The top three awards consumers rely on most are Car & Driver, Motor Trend, and the North American Car and Truck of the Year.

Please give us your thoughts by commenting below or on the video for The Car Coach’s YouTube Channel.

Lauren Fix, The Car Coach®, is a nationally recognized automotive expert, analyst, author, and television host.  A trusted car expert, Lauren provides an insider’s perspective on a wide range of automotive topics and aspects, energy, industry, consumer news, and safety issues.   

Lauren is the CEO of Automotive Aspects and the Editor-in-Chief of Car Coach Reports, a global automotive news outlet. She is an automotive contributor to national and local television news shows, including Fox News, Fox Business, CNN International, The Weather Channel, Inside Edition, Local Now News, Community Digital News, and more. Lauren also co-hosts a regular show on with Paul Brian called “His Turn – Her Turn” and hosts regular radio segments on USA Radio – DayBreak. 

Lauren is honored to be inducted into the Women’s Transportation Hall of Fame and a Board Member of the Buffalo Motorcar Museum, and Juror / President for the North American Car, Utility & Truck of the Year Awards.  

Check her out on Twitter and Instagram @LaurenFix.

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