Here Are The North American Car and Truck/Utility of the Year Finalists, Let's Make a Bet

Aaron Cole
by Aaron Cole

The North American Car and Truck/Utility of the Year finalists were announced Tuesday and clearly the jurors read our September handicap — and completely mostly disregarded our odds.

According to jurors, the finalists for 2016 North American Car of the Year are the Honda Civic, Chevrolet Malibu and Mazda MX-5 Miata. The finalists for the 2016 Truck/Utility of the Year are the Volvo XC90, Nissan Titan XD and Honda Pilot. The winners will be announced at the North American International Auto Show in January.

Let’s review the finalists and definitively state in each capsule why that car will absolutely win:

Car of the Year

here are the north american car and truck utility of the year finalists lets make a

Honda Civic (1 to 3)

Clearly the winner here considering one of the nominees only seats two people and the other is something called a “Malibu.”

Have you seen the last generation Civic? The 2016 Honda Civic adds a turbonator and Apple technology over last year and that’s just the start.

Do you want more? How about a coupe or something sporty, you say? Honda has a Civic for that, smart guy, and you can fit people in the back. Try sticking your friends in the trunk of a Miata.

Jurors would be stupid not to pick the Honda Civic.

Chevrolet Malibu (1 to 3)

How many two-time car of the year champions can you name? I’ll tell you how many — one. The Chevrolet Malibu is the two-time car of the year champion you can name because that’s how many times it’ll be car of the year after 2016.

The 2008 winner is a heavyweight in this division because it’s so good that it practically makes the Impala redundant.

This year’s Malibu looks like a champ and is priced like one too. It starts at $22,500, which isn’t much more than the Honda Civic, but the Malibu is big enough to host Christmas dinner. You could probably fit the Mazda MX-5 in its trunk.

Jurors would be stupid not to pick the Chevrolet Malibu.

Mazda MX-5 Miata (1 to 3)

The MX-5 Miata is so good that it could be two cars and still sell.

Mazda’s two-seater convertible is the clear winner simply because it’s so simple. Notice how hard the Civic is trying on its styling? The MX-5 doesn’t need that. It very clearly has epic sports car proportions.

What is that roof line on the Malibu? You know what’s better than that roof line? How about 90,000 feet of sky. That’s better than your roof line, Jack.

Who cares that the power outlet is hidden in the floor? This is the North American car of the year — not appliance of the year.

Jurors would be stupid not to pick the Mazda MX-5 Miata.

Truck/Utility of the Year

Honda Pilot (1 to 3)

It says “Utility of the Year” on the award, right? What’s more utility than a Team Bus?

Honda’s new Pilot is so helpful and big you could fit the entire jury in there and still get more than 20 mpg.

Three-row SUVs win utility of the year all the time because everyone needs three-rows when you start having kids because each kid requires 250 pounds of crap. Can the XC90 seat 8? Probably not. The Titan XD can, but you’d have to stack them in the bed and that’s illegal, I think.

Jurors would be stupid not to pick the Honda Pilot.

Volvo XC90 (1 to 3)

The XC90 is basically from the future. It should be the 2016, 2017 and 2018 Utility of the Year because it’s that good. It drives itself, you know.

Have you seen the XC90’s Sensus infotainment system? I’m pretty sure it was in “Minority Report,” and it was just upgraded with Apple CarPlay because Volvo is magic.

It doesn’t swill dirty diesel fuel like the Titan XD (not in the States, anyway) and the XC90 doesn’t look like a bloated minivan like someone else I’ve seen recently.

Jurors would be stupid not to pick the Volvo XC90.

Nissan Titan XD (1 to 3)

A truck of the year is supposed to be a truck, right? Do you see any other trucks here besides the Nissan Titan XD?

The Nissan Titan XD is such a good truck that it made its own classification in trucks for itself. Didn’t think you needed a medium-duty diesel? Guess again.

Can that Honda Pilot rip a stump from the earth? Probably not. Would you get that Volvo XC90 in anything deeper than a backyard slip-n-slide? Nope.

The Nissan Titan XD is the truck of the year because it probably has a hairy chest.

Jurors would be stupid not to pick the Nissan Titan XD.

Join the conversation
4 of 51 comments
  • Carlson Fan Carlson Fan on Dec 09, 2015

    Forget the Malibu, the 2nd Gen 2016 Chevy Volt should be car of the year. Nothing else even comes close.

    • Kyree Kyree on Dec 09, 2015

      Yeah, I don't know how that didn't get nominated. It might be because it's only being released in limited markets, for now. Either way, with the new Malibu, Cruze, Volt and Camaro, 2016 is a huge year for Chevrolet.

  • MeJ MeJ on Dec 09, 2015

    I'll throw in my vote. Car: Miata. The last of a dying breed. Small, tossable, affordable, dependable (I'm sure there are a few more '-ables', but I can't think of them off the top of my head.)and good looking. What's not to like? Truck: Titan. Why not? Preliminary reviews are good and it would be nice to see a different truck other than a Ford, GM, or Dodge, win.

    • VolandoBajo VolandoBajo on Dec 10, 2015

      Miata: another -able (at least in its first incarnation)...weak-sauce-able powertrain. IIRC, its zero-sixty times were in the double digits when it came out. Slower than my eighteen year old 4000 lb. Panther. And even if not, way too slow for a two seat sports car. Might have outrun a Sprite, but not much else from the golden era of British sports cars.

  • 3SpeedAutomatic Drove a rental Cherokee for several days at the beginning of this year. Since the inventory of rental cars is still low, this was a 2020 model with 48k miles and V6. Ran fine, no gremlins, graphics display was easy to work, plenty of power, & very comfortable. Someone must of disarmed the lane assistance feature for the steering wheel never shook (YES!!!!!!!!). However, this woman's voice kept nagging me about the speed limit (what's new!?!?!?!).I was impressed enough to consider this a prime candidate to replace my 11 yr old Ford Escape. Might get a good deal with the close out of the model. Time will tell. 🚗🚗🚗
  • Bullnuke One wonders if this poor woman entered the US through Roxham Road...
  • Johnds Years ago I pulled over a vehicle from either Manitoba or Ontario in North Dakota for speeding. The license plates and drivers license did not come up on my dispatchers computer. The only option was to call their government. Being that it was 2 am, that wasn’t possible so they were given a warning.
  • BEPLA My own theory/question on the Mark VI:Had Lincoln used the longer sedan wheelbase on the coupe - by leaning the windshield back and pushing the dashboard & steering wheel rearward a bit - not built a sedan - and engineered the car for frameless side windows (those framed windows are clunky, look cheap, and add too many vertical lines in comparison to the previous Marks) - Would the VI have remained an attractive, aspirational object of desire?
  • VoGhost Another ICEbox? Pass. Where are you going to fill your oil addiction when all the gas stations disappear for lack of demand? I want a pickup that I can actually use for a few decades.