Last year, Ford dominated the North American Car, Truck and Utility Vehicle of the Year (NACTOY) awards, with the F-150 winning best truck, Mustang-Mach-E winning best ute, and the Hyundai Elantra rounding out the podium as the best car. Ford is two for three again in 2022, with the new Maverick compact pickup winning the truck category, and Bronco winning for utility, with the newly updated Honda Civic winning the car segment.
The 2022 Honda Civic, which is again available as a sedan or hatchback, beat out the new Volkswagen GTI and Golf R, as well as the all-electric Lucid Air luxury sedan as finalists for this year’s car category. The Civic didn’t change much during the generational changeover, which we thought was fine when we drove it. The updates made were practical and useful, without diminishing the car’s personable character that makes it so popular. The fact that there’s already a sportier Civic Si available only makes it that much more exciting to mainstream enthusiasts.
The 2022 Ford Maverick won out over the all-electric Rivian R1T and its more direct competitor, the Hyundai Santa Cruz. No surprise here. The Maverick thoroughly impressed us on our first drive. The standard hybrid powertrain, available turbo powertrain, affordable MSRP, excellent fuel economy, interesting and useful interior, and its super clever bed with DIY readiness makes this an easy call for Truck of the Year.
The 2022 Ford Bronco faced some stiff competition from the Genesis GV70 and electric Hyundai Ioniq 5. Both of those Hyundai Group vehicles are great to drive, feature rich and extremely compelling. They don’t come closes to the Bronco’s off-road ability and factory customization, though.
“We’re thrilled and honored to earn both Truck and Utility of the Year from the NACTOY jury for the Ford Maverick and Bronco, especially among such a strong field of competitors,” said Kumar Galhotra, president of Ford’s Americas and International Markets Group. “But we’re also proud because these awards are well-deserved recognition for the tremendous amount of work, focus and energy our teams have invested in designing, engineering and building exciting vehicles for our customers. This also reflects the overwhelming reception we’ve had from our Maverick and Bronco customers alike.”
Honda hadn’t released a statement as of this writing.
What’s notable about this year’s winners — besides Ford’s strong repeat showing — is that no plug-in vehicles made the final cut, though each category saw an all-electric finalist in its midst. EVs that made the semifinalist list included the Lucid Air and Mercedes-Benz EQS cars, GMC Hummer EV and Rivian R1T pickups, and the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and VW ID.4 crossovers.
“This year’s group of semifinalists includes some of the most interesting and innovative cars, trucks and utility vehicle candidates in recent memory,” said NACTOY President Gary Witzenburg, “and a larger number of new trucks than we’ve seen in many years. And it features more electric vehicles than we’ve ever seen, all of which our jurors will continue to test and evaluate prior to our next vote.”
50 automotive journalists from the U.S. and Canada — including Autoblog Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore — are jurors for the three awards, which are announced every January (in the past, traditionally, as part of the Detroit Auto Show when it was still held this time of year). The vehicles are chosen from dozens of candidates, and must be new or substantially changed for the current model year. The jurors evaluate finalists on value, innovation, design, performance, safety, technology and driver satisfaction.