The Automotive Press Association (APA) has just announced its short list for the annual North American Car and Truck of the Year Awards.
Three cars that made a big splash in the industry for different reasons made the list this year: the Cadillac ATS, Ford Fusion and Honda Accord. While the ATS aims its ironsights squarely at BMW and arguably unseats the 3 Series as the entry-level luxury sport sedan benchmark, it still has competition.
“It’s gratifying for us,” Cadillac spokesman David Caldwell said. “This is what we aim to do as a brand, to compete with the world’s best.”
SEE ALSO: 2013 Cadillac ATS Review
Intriguing as the ATS is for certain buyers, it won’t be appealing to nearly as broad a segment as the Honda Accord. The Japanese staple gets minimal aesthetic changes for 2013 despite being an all new car. While some might criticize Honda for that, the reality is that it doesn’t matter.
People will still buy the car, as the 2012 Civic proved by selling in spite of widespread media scrutiny. The fact that its four-cylinder engine has 185 hp, 181 lb-ft of torque and an estimated 27/36 mpg during city and highway driving is probably more of a bonus to loyal buyers than anything.
SEE ALSO: 2013 Honda Accord Review
Finally, it’s the real segment newcomer. The ATS looks a lot like a smaller CTS. It’s not bad if you like the brand’s angular styling, but that’s not for everyone. The same applies to the Accord. Ford, on the other hand, took a cocktail of crazy pills this year and produced the 2013 Fusion sedan that looks distinctly like something from an Aston Martin drawing board.
SEE ALSO: 2013 Ford Fusion Review
With files from Craig Cole