Last year, a panel of American and Canadian journalists selected the Land Rover Range Rover Evoque the 2012 North American Truck of the Year. Of course, we (and many others) had a few things to say to that, and the panelists responded by changing the name of of the award. Actually, it wasn't so much a name change as it was tacking on a slash: truck/utility.
Oddly, in announcing the contenders for 2013, they still say two awards will be handed out: one for a car and one for a truck. Even when they abbreviate the name of the award, they call it the NACTOY selection. Not that we think it has to called NACTUOY — certainly that would be clumsy. In fact, they can call it whatever they want, but it seems a little odd. (And why is the word "the" in the acronym not represented, yet "of" is? Is the latter so such more important?)
If they really wanted to be honest, they'd call it NACT/UOTY. Sure, it's a bit awkward, but at least it would be what it is.
The nominees for the 2013 NACTOY award are quite diverse, and there are very few real trucks or utilities on the list. They are the Acura RDX, Audi Allroad, BMW X1, Ford Escape, Ford C-Max, Hyundai Santa Fe, Inifniti JX35, Mazda CX-5, Mercedes-Benz GL-Class, Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class, Mercedes-Benz G-Class, Nissan Pathfinder, Ram 1500, Subaru XV Crosstrek and the Toyota RAV4 EV.
As the panelists said last year, it is not their fault that there wasn't a real truck or SUV that came out last year; that's not under their control. Of course that's true, but this year's mix of competitors doesn't seem to reflect, for the most part, much of the "truck-ness" or "utility-ness" that the award has in its name. However, I suppose we should be happy that there are two vehicles with a frame — the Ram 1500 and the G-Class. That is progress.
Be that as it may, we'll guess the final three, which should be announced later this fall, with the winner given the main stage at a media event during the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Our guess for the top three: Ram 1500, Escape and either the Pathfinder or Crosstrek. Of course, the winner should be the only real truck/utility of the group.