North American Car, Truck of the Year Semi-finalists Announced, Let's Debate

Aaron Cole
by Aaron Cole
north american car truck of the year semi finalists announced lets debate

The preliminary list of semifinalists of the 2015 North American Car & Truck of the Year is out and oddly, Volkswagen didn’t make the list.

General Motors sports four car of the year nominees, including the Cadillac CT6, Chevrolet Camaro, Malibu and Volt while Tesla’s Model X is up for Truck/Utility of the year. Automotive journalists — 57 of them, in fact — will vote on the cars in October.

The winners will be announced in January at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Here is the list of nominees (our predictions) in no particular order — or perhaps alphabetical:

Car of the Year

BMW 7 Series (10 to 1 — The last BMW to win was Mini in 2003 and voting for BMW is like cheering for the Yankees.)

Cadillac CT6 (5 to 2 — Cadillac has won COTY once in its 23-year history, in 2012 for the ATS. If they chopper one of these over the testing ground in Michigan, they could significantly improve their odds.)

Chevrolet Camaro (3 to 2 — My odds-on favorite because Chevrolet gets a bunch of these awards because who-knows-why. Camaro has never won, surprisingly.)

Chevrolet Malibu (7 to 1 — Doubtful. Malibu last won in 2008, surprisingly.)

Chevrolet Volt (5 to 1 — I’m not sure how a car that’ll be sold in 1/5th of the country this year could be considered for car of the year.)

Honda Civic (3 to 1 — My dark-horse pick. If the award went to the automaker who surprised the most, Civic would have won the day it was announced. As it is, the Civic may win by splitting the GM vote anyway.)

Kia Optima (10 to 1 — Probably not.)

Mazda MX-5 Miata (5 to 2 — Unimaginable fun. Really hard to say that a two-seater sports car is Car of the Year for a continent that won’t buy many.)

Nissan Maxima (6 to 1 — Solid entry from Nissan. Points taken away for hashtag.)

Toyota Prius (4 to 1 — Winner in 2004, the Prius may be left out thanks to the Volt/free gasoline in many parts of the U.S.)

Truck/Utility of the Year

Ford Edge (4 to 1 — Not as good looking as the Murano, but Nissan’s engine is ancient. It has a long climb.)

Honda HR-V (7 to 1 — Car will be a hit with millennials, average age of an automotive journalist is 1,273 years old. Don’t count on it.)

Honda Pilot (8 to 1 — School buses have never won truck/utility of the year, so it’s hard to imagine voters would pick the Pilot this year. The Transit Connect won truck/utility in 2010 so anything can happen, I guess.)

Hyundai Tucson (10 to 1 — See Optima, Kia.)

Jeep Renegade (12 to 1 — Long odds, lots of gears. However, the Renegade is a sneaky empty-nester ‘ute and considering the average age of an automotive journalist … )

Kia Sorento (6 to 1 — Did you know a Sorento could top out over $45,000? Now I’ve seen everything.)

Lexus RX (9 to 1 — If Lexus made available its 2-liter turbo in the RX, like they do in Europe, we may be talking. As is, probably not.)

Mazda CX-3 (5 to 1 — Mazda continues to have the best lineup that no one buys/everyone ignores. The CX-3 continues the tradition.)

Nissan Titan XD (5 to 2 — Genuinely interesting with diesel/mid-duty focus. Nissan Truck CEO Fred Diaz knows how to win these things from his Ram days.)

Tesla Model X (3 to 1 — Because Tesla! Really though, no one has driven one of these cars, and NACTOY says it omits exotics from its competition because of limited availability. I’m sure we could all walk on the lots and buy one of these things, right?)

Toyota Tacoma (3 to 1 — The mid-size truck leader is better with its 3.5-liter. Never mind the interior, the Tacoma is a very good truck.)

Volvo XC90 (3 to 2 — Journalists fell in love with this thing and Volvo is selling the hell out of them. Its auto pilot function under 30 mph could be the next step toward autonomous driving. My odds-on favorite.)

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3 of 114 comments
  • Jrasero23 Jrasero23 on Sep 29, 2015

    Car of the year: Nissan Maxima. Pushes all the right buttons, daringly good looking design, really high end ultra styled materials, good performance, decent MPG, but has a CVT. Journalists do like this car though. Truck/utility: Tacoma or the XC90. Both vehicles get huge updates. But which one had the most profound update? The Volvo. It has style, an overwhelming sense of luxury, efficiency, and bubble-wrap levels of safety. But it wouldn't surprise me if the Tacoma pulls out a win since the small pickup game has been severely neglected and the current Tacoma refresh is a good evolutionary upgrade on an already great pickup.

  • Lorenzo Lorenzo on Sep 30, 2015

    Fifty-seven journalists will decide? That's a lot of bribes, no wonder car prices are so high.

    • DeadWeight DeadWeight on Sep 30, 2015

      No doubt. A bunch of hacks will be owned, dined, SWAGGED, and pampered in the most insincere and hollow ways imaginable, in an attempt to influence a decision that likely won't register a notable increase in real world sales even for the winners (look at the flop that is the 2012 COTY, to wit, the Cadillac fAilTS).

  • Analoggrotto Knew about it all along but only now did the risk analysis tilt against leaving it there.
  • Mike Beranek Funny story about the '80 T-bird. My old man's Dart Sport had given up the ghost so he was car-shopping. He & I dropped my mom at a store and then went to the Ford dealer, where we test-drove the new T-Bird (with digital dash!)So we pull up to the store to pick mom up. She walks out and dad says "We just bought it.". Mom stares at the Mulroney- almost 13 grand- and just about fell over.Dad had not in fact bought the T-Bird, instead he got a Cordoba for only 9 grand.
  • EngineerfromBaja_1990 I'd love a well preserved Mark VII LSC with the HO 5.0 for a weekend cruiser. Its design aged better than both the VI and VIII. Although I'd gladly take the latter as well (quad cam V8 and wrap around interior FTW)
  • Teddyc73 The Mark VIII was the first car I lusted over as a young new auto enthusiast. Still think it's a beauty after all these years.
  • Art Vandelay wish They’d do an SS version of the Bolt. We need more electric hot hatches and this is a clean enough design that it would look good