2020 NACTOY vehicle of the year nominees announced

Henry Payne
The Detroit News

Detroit – Nominees for the 2020 Car, Utility and Truck of the Year Awards were announced Friday, and Detroit SUVs and pickups were heavily represented.

As U.S. automakers abandon car segments, only one Detroiter is in the running for Car of the Year, but the mid-engine Chevy Corvette is the early front runner against a herd of foreign makes.

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

The trophy for best truck is sure to reside in the Motor City since all five semi-finalists are American-made: Chevrolet Silverado Heavy Duty, Ford Ranger, GMC Sierra Heavy Duty, Jeep Gladiator and Ram Heavy Duty.

Riding a wave of new products, Ford Motor Co. entries will make up a third of the 12 utility nominees. The Ford Explorer and Escape utes will be in contention, along with their luxury brothers from Lincoln — the Aviator and Corsair. Other nominees include: Audi E-Tron, Cadillac XT6, Chevrolet Blazer, Honda Passport, Kia Telluride, Hyundai Palisade, Subaru Outback and Volvo V60 Cross Country.

The 2020 utility nominees include the Ford Explorer, clockwise from top-left, Ford Escape, Lincoln Corsair, and Lincoln Aviator.
...The Audi E-Tron, clockwise from top-left, Cadillac XT6, Honda Passport and Chevrolet Blazer...
...The Kia Telluride, clockwise from top-left, Hyundai Palisade, Subaru Outback and Volvo V60 Cross Country.

The $60,000 Corvette — which boasts performance on par with supercars costing five times as much — will try to beat 11 competitors for best car including the BMW 3 Series, Cadillac CT5, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Soul, Mazda3, Mercedes-Benz A-Class, Polestar 1, Porsche 911, Subaru Legacy, Toyota Supra and Volkswagen Arteon.

The NACTOY jury is made up of 50 independent journalists from print, online, radio and broadcast media across the U.S. and Canada, including the author of this article. Jurors winnowed this year’s new offerings to 12 semifinalists in the car and SUV categories, and five in the truck category.

2020 Ford Escape

Jurors' next call of duty is an annual comparison drive in October where they will determine three worthy finalists from each category. Those finalists will be announced at the Los Angeles Auto Show on Nov. 20.

Winners will be announced in early 2020.

2020 North American Car of the Year semifinalists:

BMW 3 Series

Cadillac CT5

Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

Hyundai Sonata

Kia Soul


Mercedes-Benz A-Class

Polestar 1

Porsche 911

Subaru Legacy

Toyota Supra

Volkswagen Arteon

2020 North American Utility of the Year Semifinalists:

Audi E-Tron

Cadillac XT6

Chevrolet Blazer

Ford Explorer

Ford Escape

Honda Passport

Kia Telluride

Hyundai Palisade

Lincoln Aviator

Lincoln Corsair

Subaru Outback

Volvo V60 Cross Country

2020 North American Truck of the Year Semifinalists:

Chevrolet Silverado Heavy Duty

Ford Ranger

GMC Sierra Heavy Duty

Jeep Gladiator

Ram Heavy Duty

Henry Payne is auto critic for The Detroit News. Find him at hpayne@detroitnews.com or Twitter @HenryEPayne.