Nominees for 2013 North American Truck/Utility of the Year Announced

2013 Ram 1500 white II

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. 

Nactoy-award-crystal II


Stuff like this makes them lose credibility

Go Ram! The only real truck in there......

Great job Chrysler. Keep up the awesome products and I will keep buying them.

That is one Handsome, Rugged, looking truck with Hemi muscle.


I think you mean pick up because the G-class is more truck than the Fiat 1500 I mean Ram. Full frame, Solid axles all around, lockers front & rear, yeah I would classify that more truck than the Ram...

I noticed the Ford escape on the list. That is a perfect name for it. ESCAPE THE FLAMES. LMFAO!

The Ford exploder.LOL

@ Tyler Ooh good one...slammer! Too true though unfortunately.

Tyler....truck? maybe best suv...Never owned a g class but id say i can get alot more done with my RAM....if i want off road, then i would go with Power Wagon new or old.

G-Class wins for being the most zombie-proof of the batch...

JUDD, Suv's can be trucks, the G Class is not a Pickup Truck but it is a truck and more truck then a Ram 1500.


So the G is also more "truck" then the F150, GM 1500s, and the GM HDs too, right?

I don see a real truck bed in that pos

Just heard on the news the feds are investigating 2009-2010 dodge ram trucks for something locking up in the rear end. Over a dozen complaints so far and counting. This is a very serious deal and recalls will be announced at anytime as the feds ain't happy at all with spam. NO GUTS, NO GLORY NO REAR ENDS. Reap what you sew!!

this test/award is

Let's be clear, truck is different than pickup truck. All the Tahoe's, Armadas, Expeditions are trucks too (built on full size truck frames).

@Ram guy, that POS is still pretty much the exact same as it was in the military, is built insanely well with more gizmos and luxury than your RAM could dream of, I wouldn't call it anywhere near a POS...

URADA, in the reference I was making earlier yes...


Yes you can do more work with your RAM (towing, hauling, ect), but in off road this thing (with the right tires as it usually comes with big wheels and lower profile street tires for the MB crowd) would out do a PW, no doubt in most off road situations. Check out some videos of it, you will be impressed. Still not sure why these things are over a 100k though and who would buy one but hey, MB still sells them.

I think the diesel Grand Cherokee will get it not a pickup truck, I'll even narrow it down the the Laredo.

For NA its quite innovatitive.

Fiat wouldn't put one on your market if they thought it would fail.

The Fiat/Ram is WORST truck out there! RECALL and RUSTY Specials from old CRYCO--The latest FIAT/CRYCO Ram RECALL is for rear axles that lock up at any speed. Several innocent people have been hurt RAMMING Median Walls when their defective Rams locked up !! The AMERICAN OWNED,designed,engineered,and produced FORD F-SERIES is the MOST POPULAR,BEST SELLING,BEST SAFETY,BEST PULLING,BEST Fuel ECONOMY,BEST Hauling,BEST Towing,and easily BEST TRUCK on the Planet for over 35 straight years because of ALL these important reasons------DRIVE ONE!

Sorry, I wrote up my comment wrong it should read the Grand SHOULD get it.

Does the notorious front end and ball joint issues with Ram's count? I had 23,000 miles on mine, never off road, and control arm snapped off. Never buying another Chrysler/Fiat product ever again!

Tyler...Im not sayin the PW will out perform the G class....I have never seen one in action. Im just sayin that what i would buy (PW) And a truck to me has a useable open cargo box. Just the way i look at it. Plus i could buy a PW and a Challenger for the cost of a G class....

Keith....if ur gonna post that kinda stuff why dont you post other brands problens too cuz they all have their issues. And none if this "my sisters boyrfiends moms fater in law has one and it sucks"

Did the F 150 make the list? NO so why are yall crying

I don't think 3rd a rate truck like the fiat/ram 1500 will get the award with all the quialty problems it has.


The latest FIAT/CRYCO Ram RECALL is for rear axles that lock up at any speed.

-Same axle supplier as the Chevy and many big name tractor companies. I find that hard to believe.

@xoo7, Here is a quality study. Seems Ram Did real good.

F ord

O wner

R ecommends

D odge

Hemi V8 .... Yes! True least around here

and the winner is.........the NISSAN.....YES

Truck is a pretty broad category. SUV's, CUV's, pickups, vans all count as a "truck". You don't need to have a BOF to count either.
The G-Glass Mercedes (G - Wagon) is also used as a military vehicle. It has more global offroad cred than anything with a goat's head on it.
I doubt a pickup will win it. On the other hand they might throw a bone to pickup truck crowd.

Just heard it again on the news, Ram rearends locking up, several people complaining and hitting things when they lock up. Feds are hard at work on this one. I guess they all have a recall everynow and then!

You know, some of the comments are really poor.

I know everyone on this site likes pickups, but be realistic. The title is "Truck/Utility" of the year.

I love pickups, but a SUV (as we call them in Australia) has more innovative ideas. As I have always stated pickups are cheaper for a reason.

The technology transfer from SUVs will find its way into pickups one day, hey but that will make them more expensive.

You can't (shouldn't) make comparison between two completely differing vehicles. Alot of the technology in SUVs hasn't made its way to pickup trucks.

A lot of SUVs have diesel options, even in NA, pickups (1/2 ton) don't. On average SUVs handle better are safer than the trucks you guys have.

The chassis performance for day to day driving is far superior in a SUV. Braking is better, more economical on average etc.

One day truck manufacturers try and target the SUV consumer but right now they are behind in innovation, and that goes for our global trucks.

And who really cares about Rams, F trucks and Silverados. Not one was selected. There are some very nice vehicles in that group.

All pickups have good and bad points. Sales figures doesn't equate to a better product. I'd rather have a Porche Cayenne than any of the above, how many are sold a year?

I would take the better off roader the jeep rubicon over the G.
Take the 50 grand left over to customize the jeep. Maybe add a 5.7L Hemi or 6.4L Hemi. like a jeep apache.

NICE TRY !!!!! ON CHRYSLER VEHICLES. No recall has been issued at this time. NHTSA is investigating a number of complaints to determine which next steps, if any, need to be taken.


All these people talkin crap about RAM I've got a 2011 stock 4x4 crew cab with a 5.7 v8 and I beat the crap out of that sucker every weekend when me and the boys go muddin down by the lake and ain't broke nothin on it and I've been muddin in it at least 8 times a month since i got it. I also had to pull 2 chevy's out this past Saturday night. Not to mention I drove home to Texas when I was on leave from Fort Campbell, it was a 1,548 mile drive and I only spent $95.00 of gas goin down there and $100.00 comin back. They're good trucks it just depends what u like but RAM ain't no piece of crap...just sayin

Jelous people just cuz the best truck is up there. Lets be happy people since its the only pickup that can be in that list ha!!!

@joe, They are jealous. I own an 03 Hemi 4x4. Tow my 8,000lbs toy hauler on the soft beach at Pismo beach ca. I too
pull Chevy's out with their trailers. Truck has 73,000 now. My rear window switch is going bad. I love my Dodge truck. Love the power and sound of my Hemi. I can't wait for the new 13
Ram to hit the road. Just like when my 03 hit the road it was the leader of the pack.




Without a question, Escape will be the winner.

No way you drove 1500 miles on $100 unless you were getting gas for $1.00 - $1.50 / gallon. At $3/gallon you were getting over 45 miles to the gallon, and you probably paid more than $3/gallon. If you get that kind of mileage out of a 1500 it ain't stock, and it probably came with such cool add ons as a Mr. Fusion and a flux capacitor.

@HEMI V8 - I wasn't talking about the high end Mercedes G class but the utilitarian version. There are many cool vehicles out their that work in the toughest environments on the planet. I'd have to agree with Big Al form Oz - you need to sell the Ram and buy a beater. Then travel the world with the extra cash. Your view is too narrow!

If this deal with spam has made the national news then you know a recall is coming so the spam boys better put the rocks down. NO GUTS,NO GLORY, SPAM!!!!!!

there is only ONE TRUCK on this list!!! what a load of CRAPPP!!!

Oh yea! Ram

@Dave - I really like the new Escape and so does my wife. It would be really funny if the Escape wins. I can see a few Rambo Fanboi's crying in their goat's milk if that happened.

I'd like to see the current (2011/2012) Jeep Grand Cherokee in the running because pound for pound, dollar for dollar, it is the best Utility out there.

True, I bought one for my wife and I'm biased. But I could have bought just about any Utility out there including the Explorer, Highlander, Escape, CR-V or any of the ones listed in the article.

The fact that I chose to buy the Grand Cherokee reflects that I thought it was better than all the others. It's got more balls than our 2008 Highlander and is just as luxurious as any from Japan or Germany.

I'm disappointed that the Grand Cherokee was overlooked because it is infinitely more capable than most of the ones listed.

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