Fifty-three automotive journalists from Canada and the United States have voted the Honda Civic as the 2016 North American Car of the Year. The Volvo XC90 was picked as the 2016 North American Truck/Utility of the Year.
Both vehicles were previous winners. The Civic won in 2006 and the XC90 in 2003.
The awards – now in their 23rd year – are unique in the United States because instead of being given by a single media outlet they are awarded by an independent group of automotive journalists from the United States and Canada who represent magazines, television, radio, newspapers and web sites.
The awards are designed to recognize the most outstanding new vehicles of the year. These vehicles are benchmarks in their segments based on factors including innovation, comfort, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction and value for the dollar.
The three car finalists were the Chevrolet Malibu, the Honda Civic and the Mazda MX-5 Miata. The Civic had 203 points, the Malibu 181 and the MX-5 Miata 146.
The three truck/utility finalists were the Honda Pilot, Nissan Titan XD and the Volvo XC90. The Volvo had 310 points, the Pilot had 111 and the Titan XD had 109.
The winners were revealed Monday morning at a news conference at the North American International Auto Show when Michelle Collins, a partner at Deloitte & Touche, handed envelopes with the names of the winners to Tony Swan, a member of the award’s organizing committee. The jurors sent their ballots directly to Ms. Collins, who did not divulge the names of the winners secret until the news conference.
In the last 23 years “domestic” automakers have won North American Car of the Year 12 times and foreign automakers have won eleven times. Japanese automakers have four wins. European automakers have five wins. Korean automakers (Hyundai) have two wins.
Domestics have won the truck competition 15 times. Foreign automakers have won eight times. Of those eight wins, Japanese automakers have won four times and Europeans have won four times.
Last year the North American Car of the Year was the Volkswagen Golf while the North American Truck/Utility of the Year was the Ford F-150.