Ford has bagged two of the three titles at the 2021 North American Car, Truck and Utility Vehicle of the Year (NACTOY) Awards.

a car driving on a mountain road: 2021 NACTOY Winners

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2021 NACTOY Winners

The Blue Oval saw the brand-new 2021 F-150 pickup take glory in the Truck category, whilst the all-electric Mustang Mach-E was a winner in the Utility class. 

Hyundai can also celebrate, with the latest Elantra picking up the prestigious Car of the Year Award for 2021. 

Doubling down on success

a car parked on the side of a road: 2021 NACTOY Winners

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2021 NACTOY Winners

A win for the Mustang Mach-E will be a major endorsement of Ford’s move into the electric crossover SUV market. Purists may were initially upset at the Mustang name on a battery electric model, but NACTOY jurors believed it was the right decision.

They marked the Mustang Mach-E ahead of the reborn Land Rover Defender, and the Genesis GV80 – the first SUV from Hyundai’s luxury brand. 

The company has taken a less radical approach with the new F-150 pickup truck, now into a fourteenth generation. However, the F-150 has been the best-selling pickup in America for the past 44 years meaning the stakes are still high. 

Ford’s pickup triumphed ahead of the desert-orientated Jeep Gladiator Mojave, and the 700 horsepower Ram 1500 TRX.

Gallery: 2021 What Car? Car of the Year Awards: the shortlist (What Car?)

Elation for the Hyundai Elantra

a car parked in front of a building: 2021 NACTOY Winners

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2021 NACTOY Winners

The new Hyundai Elantra claimed the important 2021 Car of the Year trophy, beating the Genesis G80 and Nissan Sentra. 

With four-door coupe styling, and a bold interior inspired by aircraft cockpit, the new Elantra is certainly distinctive. Hyundai was praised for launching a new hybrid version, along with a performance N Line model. 

It made for radically different winner compared to the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, which took the prize in 2020.

A competitive year for all concerned

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Judging the 2021 event was tough, according to those making the decisions. Juror Paul Eisenstein commented that he could not “recall a year when the finalists all were so deserving.”

The NACTOY Awards were first established in 1994, and are now the longest-running independent motoring accolades. Some 50 jurors drawn from print, radio, and online media come together to make their picks each year. 

Due to coronavirus, a virtual event was used to announce the winners this year.


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