It’s a good day for the Ford Mustang Mach-E, Ford F-150 and Hyundai /zigman2/quotes/204364212/composite HYMTF -0.19% Elantra. That’s because these three vehicles just won their respective categories for the North American Car of the Year (NACTOY) award.
In the automotive industry, NACTOY is considered one of the biggest – if not the biggest – award. It’s like the Oscars of cars. The jurors are made up of roughly 50 automotive journalists from the U.S. and Canada.
The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E won the category of Utility of the Year, and it’s especially noteworthy. The Mustang Mach-E is all-new, and it’s an all-electric SUV with the spirit of a Mustang sports car. The vehicle is just beginning to roll into dealerships.
In announcing this big honor for the Mustang Mach-E, NACTOY said in a statement that “Until now, it would have been unheard of to put an iconic Mustang badge on a utility vehicle, but NACTOY jurors say Ford’s /zigman2/quotes/208911460/composite F -0.08% decision to take that risk paid off with the Mustang Mach E.”
“The Mustang Mach-E leapfrogs European EVs as the Tesla /zigman2/quotes/203558040/composite TSLA +0.13% Model Y’s most formidable challenger yet. Like Tesla, Mach-E understands that the premium EV market is as much about interior tech as it is about torque,” said Detroit News auto critic and NACTOY juror Henry Payne.
Ford also garnered a big win in the truck category with the 2021 F-150 taking that honor. This year’s model is all-new and features fresh technology and a bevy of new powertrains. The Ford F-150 has long been not only the bestselling truck in America, but the bestselling vehicle, period.
“The F-series is Ford’s crown jewel, not to mention the highest-selling vehicle lineup in the U.S. for 40 years,” said freelance auto reporter, analyst and NACTOY juror John Voelcker. “The latest version refines the package, keeping what’s good, updating as needed, and delivering the right mix of features, capabilities, comfort, and style—with the added benefit of the first hybrid powertrain in almost a decade to debut in a full-size pickup truck.”
Rounding out the winners is the all-new 2021 Hyundai Elantra . This compact sedan boasts styling, features, technology and safety systems that would make some luxury cars blush.
“It is refreshing to see an automaker so committed to the sedan segment that at launch they offer such a wide variety of models as is in the Hyundai Elantra family,” said John Davis, senior executive producer/host at Maryland Public Television/MotorWeek and a NACTOY juror. “Hyundai did not do the drip-drip of the model variants over a longer term as is typical for the class.”
For car shoppers, picking any of these three vehicles means you are getting a serious winner.