Posted by Justin on 12 17th, 2012
Not all of you may know that it’s the 20th year of the awards. This year one of the awards’ name was also changed to “North American Truck/Utility” in order to reflect the growing numbers of crossover vehicles in the market. Some things never change about these awards though, and that’s for the good. Just like every year, a group of 49 automotive journalists from the U.S. and Canada representing car magazines, newspapers, websites, and even radio, select the finalists. Traditionally, a vehicle must be all new or significantly changed. So, this year the jurors narrowed the field to the following vehicles for the 2013 North American Car of the Year: Cadillac ATS, Ford Fusion, and Honda Accord. After considering dozens of trucks this year, the jurors also chose three finalists: Ford C-Max, Dodge Ram 1500, and Mazda CX-5. While we’re waiting for the Detroit Auto Show that opens with the announcement of the winners (which happens on January 14th this year), see photos of the finalists and try to guess which one of three cars and three truck/utility models will win the 2013 award in each category.
In form and function, the new light-duty full-size pickup truck conveys boldness, virtue, and power-oriented capability just like no other vehicle in its class. Being one of the most fuel-efficient models in its class, and equipped with functional, innovative and interactive technologies, 2013 Dodge Ram 1500 is an undeniable finalist among other competitors. 2013 Dodge Ram exterior design features still keep the ruggedly handsome appearance. When the brand designers started with the Ram grille, they changed the front of the vehicle, still preserving the recognizable design. As for the underhood, changes include the addition of the Chrysler Group’s award-winning Pentastar 3.6-liter V-6 engine. The new Ram is the first pickup truck to use an eight-speed TorqueFlite 8 transmission.
What puts the CX-5 ahead of competitors is that the new Mazda is smartly packaged, functional, and boasts a combined city/highway fuel economy rating of 29 miles per gallon. The automaker has equipped this five-passenger crossover SUV with 17-inch alloy wheels wrapped in Yokohama tires, a rear spoiler, push-button start and one-touch power up and down driver-side window, a body-colored outside mirrors and door handles. The CX-5 is powered by a 155-horsepower, naturally aspirated, direct-injection four cylinder engine. While this model was named Car of the Year in Japan, it is one of the best-selling cars in Russia as well.
2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid stands out due to the excellent fuel economy and decent power delivered by the gasoline-electric power train. At the same time, the C-Max Hybrid has a practical interior space and a more engaged driving experience if compared to the competitors. Boasting 47 mpg both in the city and on the highway in EPA estimates, the C-Max Hybrid can drive under electric power at speeds up to 62 mph. The model uses a 141 hp, 2-liter gasoline engine and 118 hp electric motor.
Honda Accord has been on the road for 37 years having gained a reputation for one of the most popular and recognizable cars. Improving on such a proven winner without the tried-and-true formula for success wasn’t an easy task for the automaker. Well, Honda didn’t do anything out of the ordinary. Since every inch of the new model has been reworked, the new model looks smooth due to the sharper look, more spacious interior, and the aesthetic tweaks. After insignificant tweaks made to the standard 4-cylinder engine, the new Accord makes 185 hp (a gain of 8 hp over the predecessor), and 181 lb-ft of torque.
What Cadillac did with the introduction of the new ATS is challenged Audi, the innovator and leader in LED headlights. The long, tapered 2013 ATS LED headlights not only look stunning, but compliment the bold geometric shapes of 2013 ATS grille. Besides the sharp styling and LEDs that look amazing both at day and night, the 2013 ATS boasts an excellent handling, and sleek and stylish CUE infotainment system. Available with the Driver Awareness package, (which includes a Safety Alert Seat and Lane Departure Warning system), the new ATS achieved the highest rating, five stars, in each of the tested categories: frontal crash, side crash, rollover and overall. Carrying a 321 hp 3.6-liter V6 under its hood, the ATS surprises with an impressive fuel economy: EPA numbers place the RWD V6 at 19 mpg in the city, 28 on the highway, and 22 mpg combined.
This mid-size sedan has an elegance of a luxury car, partly due to that Aston Martinian grille. The automaker paid much attention to the interior, providing it with the high-quality materials and plenty of room in the back and in the trunk. The model offers the widest range of powertrains: the 2.5-litre unit that cranks out 175 hp, the 178 hp 1.6-litre engine, and the 2.0-litre Direct Injection Turbo “EcoBoost” that makes 240 hp. All units are mated to the six-speed automatic transmission. Overall, 2013 Ford Fusion is beautiful outside, roomy and comfortable inside and has first-rate dynamics.
CARiD.com · Eight-A Corporate Center · 1 Corporate Drive · Cranbury · New Jersey · 08512 · USA
Toll Free: 800.505.3274 · International: 609.642.4700 · Fax: 609.964.1983
All manufacturer names, symbols, and descriptions, used in our images and text are used solely for identification purposes only.
It is neither inferred nor implied that any item sold by CARiD.com, is a product authorized by or in any way connected with any vehicle manufacturers displayed on this page.
Copyright © 2003-2012 CARiD.com. All rights reserved.