Ford has bagged two of the three titles at the 2021 North American Car, Truck and Utility Vehicle of the Year (NACTOY) Awards.
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 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.
Elation for the Hyundai Elantra
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
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.
Lotus to celebrate 10 birthdays in 2021
‘Forget Ford v Ferrari: bring on Ferrari v Aston Martin in F1’
McLaren Speedtail hypercar heads to auction for the first time