The Mustang Mach-E is Ford’s first electric vehicle designed from the start to be fully electric. It is also the first four-door vehicle Ford has ever given to the Mustang name.
The awards are voted on by a jury of 50 automotive journalists from publications and shows such as MotorWeek, CNet and Car and Driver, who make their selection from all-new vehicles significantly redesigned for the new model year. This year, 43 models were eligible for the award and more than half of them were some sort of SUV, said Gary Witzenburg, president of the North American Car, Truck and Utility of the Year Awards.
The awards committee reduced this number to three finalists for each of the three awards.
For the SUV of the Year award, the Mach-E beat the Genesis GV80, a large luxury SUV produced by Hyundai, and the Land Rover Defender, which had previously been named “SUV of the Year” by Motor Trend. , an automotive magazine enthusiast.
The Mach-E is similarly priced to the Model Y and also offers similar performance.
Ford also won the Truck of the Year award for the new F-150, beating the Ram 1500 TRX performance truck and the new Jeep Gladiator pickup, based on the Jeep Wrangler. The new F-150 has a number of features available which were added after Ford researchers teamed up with F-150 owners and watched them use their trucks at work, said Kumar Galhotra, president of Ford’s Americas and International Markets group. For example, after noticing that drivers were taking a nap in their truck, fully reclining front seats were created that come down completely flat like a cot.
The redesigned Hyundai Elantra won the Car of the Year award, beating the Genesis G80 full-size luxury car and the Nissan Sentra compact car.
While some automakers are completely abandoning the compact car market due to declining sales, José Muñoz, chief operating officer of Hyundai, said the Korean automaker is still engaged in this market segment. Young buyers, in particular, still prefer inexpensive small cars like the Elantra, he said.
“We strongly believe in this segment and we will continue to invest and create good products within it,” he said.