Jurors for the North American Car and Truck of the Year awards just released the 2012 short list to whittle down the crop of candidates as possible honorees at Detroit next year.
On the car side, there aren’t any surprises. Three new luxury cars make it from the U.S. and Germany, while the most heated battle will go on between the midsize cars, coming from Japan and the U.S. The Scion FR-S and its sister car the BRZ both made the list, making it clear that one is not favored too much over the other.
On the truck/utility side of the list, there is only one true pickup truck, the RAM 1500. All the other competitors classify under the utility category, as they are all crossovers. Large crossovers make sense on this list, but the Ford C-Max is also included, which seems silly juxtaposed against a RAM pickup.
A few noticeable absentees include the Tesla Model S and Mazda 6. The model S had limited seat time for journalists, so the jurors could not justify letting it on the short list.
Each of these vehicles will now be further assessed, and boiled down to a list of three finalists, the winner of which will be announced at the upcoming Detroit Auto Show. Click the links below to read reviews of each car.