2021 Hyundai Elantra Takes Top Honors At The North American Car & Truck Of The Year Awards

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K. Rawat 

Automotive Journalist

March 23, 2021  at 9:40 AM

Jurors evaluate the finalists based on segment leadership, innovation, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction, and value for the dollar.
  • The 2021 Hyundai Elantra won the 2021 North American Car of the Year award today by the North American Car, Utility, and Truck of the Year (NACTOY)
  • The Ford F-150 pickup and the Ford Mustang Mach-E SUV have triumphed in the 2021 North American Car, Truck, and Utility Awards.

Following hours of test drives, evaluation, and research, NACTOY's jurors voted for the 2021 Hyundai Elantra as the North American Car of the Year,'' Ford F-150 as North American Truck of the Season, and the Ford Mustang Mach-E as Utility Vehicle of the Year.

The jurymen assessed more than 40 different vehicles before voting the top three cars, utility vehicles, and trucks to be 2021 finalists. The 2021 Nissan Sentra and 2021 Genesis G80 were the other cars to reach the finale. Last year, the Chevy Corvette C8, Kia Telluride, and Jeep Gladiator all took home first place prizes.

Established in 1994, these awards are the longest-running new-vehicle honor perhaps not connected with one publication, site, radio, or television. They're assessed by 50 acknowledged automotive journalists from the USA and Canada who hail from a vast array of magazines, newspapers, websites, radio, and television channels.

According to custom, the awards were announced in January, but unlike previous years, the statement wasn't delivered in Detroit's TCF Center (formerly Cobo Hall). As an alternative, the headlines came via an online live-stream on account of coronavirus safety concerns. As in preceding years, neither the organization nor the manufacturers knew that the winning vehicles before envelopes were opened. Here is a closer look at each winner:

2021 North American Car Of The Year

The Hyundai Elantra was named Car of The Year ahead of the Genesis G80 and Nissan Sentra. This may be the second time the Hyundai Condo has won Automobile of the Year, that the other award coming in 2012, and the third time Hyundai has brought dwelling honors at the Automobile of the Year category. Just two cars have won the award more often than the Chevrolet Corvette and Honda Civic.

“Elantra is a symbol of our blend of dynamic design, advanced technology, and great fuel economy,”. “Elantra customers are going to experience all of the hard work and dedication that went into making this class-leading car.”- Jose Munoz, Global Chief Operating Officer of Hyundai Motor Company, accepted the award on behalf of the Alabama plant employees, among others.

 Finalist Car of the Year:

  • 2021 Genesis G80
  • 2021 Nissan Sentra

2021 North American Truck Of The Year

Ford also attained the Truck of the Year Award for its Brand New F 150, striking out the Ram 1500 TRX and the new Jeep Gladiator pickup, based on the Jeep Wrangler. The new Ford F-150 has quite a few handy features added after investigators in Ford observed them utilize their trucks on the job, said Kumar Galhotra, president of Americas and global markets category for Ford. For example, after discovering that drivers napped within their trucks, fully reclining front seats are made which move down perfectly horizontal.

 Finalist for Truck of the Year:

  • Jeep Gladiator Mojave
  • Ram 1500 TRX

The F-150’s win marks the sixth time it has been given the Truck of the year award.

2021 North American Utility Vehicle Of The Year

The Mustang Mach-E is Ford's first electric vehicle designed to be entirely electric right from its inception. Additionally, it is the only four-door vehicle Ford has given the Mustang moniker. The unusual move is showing signs of paying off.

For Its SUV of the Year award, the Mach-E succeeds the Genesis GV80, a luxury SUV produced by Hyundai, and the Land Rover Defender, which was elected as "SUV of the Year" by Motor Trend, an automotive enthusiast magazine.

"The Mustang Mach-E leapfrogs European EV’s whilst the Tesla's Model Y only compelling challenger," explained Detroit News car critic Henry Payne, among those jurors. Even the Mach-E is priced like Model Y and also provides similar efficiency. 

 Finalist for Utility of the Year:

  • 2021 Genesis GV80
  • 2021 Land Rover Defender