DETROIT – Fifty automotive journalists have selected the Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra and Volkswagen Passat as the three finalists for the 2012 North American Car of the Year.
The finalists for the 2012 North American Truck of the Year are the BMW X3, the Honda CR-V and the Land Rover Range Rover Evoque.
The finalists were revealed Thursday at an Automotive Press Association luncheon in Detroit.
The awards are unique in the United States because -- instead of being given by a single media outlet -- they are awarded by a coalition of automotive journalists from the United States and Canada representing magazines, television, radio, newspapers and web sites. The awards are financed by the jurors' dues and NACTOY does not accept advertising from automakers.
To be eligible a vehicle must be all new or substantially changed. After considering dozens of vehicles this year the jurors finally voted on 17 cars and seven trucks.
The winners will be announced Jan. 9 at 7:15 a.m. at the North American International Auto Show.
Last year, the 2011 North American Car of the Year was the Chevrolet Volt and the 2011 North American Truck of the Year was the Ford Explorer.
This is the 19th year of the awards.
Below are the vehicles on which the jurors voted.
North American Car of the Year:
Kia Rio/Rio 5
Toyota Prius V
North American Truck of the Year:
Land Rover Range Rover Evoque