When the 2021 NACTOY Awards took place last year, it was a very strong year for Ford with the American auto giant earning truck and utility of the year awards with the Ford F-150 and the Mustang Mach-E. The only category it missed out on is one that it doesn’t really compete in anymore, with Hyundai’s Elantra getting the nod for car of the year. The 2022 winners were announced at an APA event in Detroit and Ford once again sweeped the utility and truck categories with the Ford Bronco and Maverick pickup earning the top spots while the Honda Civic nabbed the car category.
Ford’s Two-Time NACTOY Performance Shows Gamble Is Working, Civic’s Win Focuses On Engineering
When Ford announced that it was pitching all of its sedan offerings (and the slow-selling Flex) the company was rolling the dice on whether customers would follow the program and shift to utility and pickup models. Fast forward a few years and Ford is reaping in the rewards with the company recording strong demand for all of its truck and SUV offerings. That included the rugged Ford Bronco SUV which revived the off-roading icon and enhanced it thanks to new technology and a strong marketing campaign.
As for the Maverick, It aims to lure in young urbanites that want an adventure-seeking truck that can work in the city while also being the first mid-size hybrid pickup. The order books for the Ford Maverick have been maxed out and the company is still recording strong early demand from consumers. Look for these awards to further enhance this trend, and help create more sales for the duo moving forward.
With all the attention surrounding Ford, it can be easy to forget that Honda also won an award with the Civic nabbing car of the year honors for 2022. The Civic faced a formidable set of challengers with the Volkswagen GTI and the revolutionary all-electric Lucid Air also vying for the honor. We suspect that the judges were wowed by the Civic’s delicate but effective combination of past and present cues with this version of the Civic helping inject sporty vibes into even the base model.
Electric Vehicles Make History In NACTOY Finalist Pool, Get Shut Out Of Awards
This year’s awards also marked the first time that electric vehicles had such a commanding presence on the stage with all three categories being highlighted by at least one EV entry. The Rivian R1T pickup made the finalist pool for the pickup category with the Lucid Air and the Hyundai Ioniq 5 EV in the utility and car categories.
While the presence of EV vehicles themselves in the awards is nothing new, it was the first time that all three categories featured one. Later in the presentation, this milestone was eventually overshadowed by all three getting shut out of the final NACTOY awards. It will be interesting to see if things change in 2023, but those hoping to see the awards dominated by all-electric offerings will have to potentially wait until next year.
The awards themselves are decided by a jury panel of 50 automotive journalists from the United States and Canada with jurors spending months driving and narrowing down the list of entries into a semi-finalist pool before weeding that pool down to a second finalist pool.
NACTOY President Gary Witzenburg shared his thoughts on this year’s awards stating“We have seen groundbreaking and appealing new electric vehicles from almost every brand along with the emergence of new vehicle segments and impressive redesigns of familiar models. Meanwhile, a number of all-new start-up manufacturers are proving they are capable of competing with established automakers even with their first product offerings. Today’s winners represent our collective opinion of the best of what’s available to customers right now, and we sincerely congratulate the automotive industry on a very impressive year.”
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.