2019 North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year Announced
- Genesis G70 wins Car of the Year
- Hyundai Kona wins Utility of the Year
- Ram 1500 wins Truck of the Year
After evaluation by a panel of 54 independent media jurors, the winners of the 2019 North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year (NACTOY) were announced today. The Genesis G70 sport sedan has been named Car of the Year; the Hyundai Kona has taken top honors as the Utility of the Year; and the impressive new Ram 1500 is Truck of the Year.
Voting criteria in the three-round process included segment leadership, innovation, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction and value for the dollar.
Car of the Year: Genesis G70
In this highly competitive segment, the new Genesis G70 won with its enticing mix of unique features, technological advancements and innovative design. This compact sports sedan, available with either a 252-horsepower 4-cylinder engine or a 365-horspower V6, is a legitimate rival for the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class.
From our G70 First Review: “The wide availability of powertrains also allows you to tailor the vehicle’s performance to your personal tastes. The rear-drive 2.0T with the 6-speed manual appeals to the hard-core enthusiasts who enjoy shifting for themselves. While not as powerful as the 3.3T, this model has a taut feel to the suspension, great responsiveness from the steering and feels livelier at turn in because of the lower mass of the 4-cylinder engine on the nose. While clutch take-up is light and linear, the throws between shifts could be a bit more precise, but overall doesn’t really diminish the car’s fun factor.”
Utility Vehicle of the Year: Hyundai Kona
In another good result for Hyundai, the new Kona and Kona EV have taken top honors in this increasingly popular segment. This should come as no surprise to KBB visitors, because the Kona already was named KBB’s Subcompact SUV Best Buy of 2019.
From our Best Buy report: “What makes the Kona so special? It’s not just one thing. For a subcompact crossover SUV, the 2019 Hyundai Kona feels low and wide, which helps explain why this solidly built 5-seater drives more like a hot hatchback than a subcompact SUV. Indeed, the Kona is a delight on a twisty mountain road. On the outside, the Kona looks youthful and fun, what with its bright paint colors (check out Lime Twist) and thin LED driving lights mounted high up front. What’s more, thick fender lips made of dark plastic lend this subcompact Hyundai crossover an SUV-like appearance. The goodness continues inside, where the overall look is a bit more conservative but still very handsome. The dash, bookended by large circular air vents, features a large central touch screen framed by switches that technically are redundant but dramatically improve the user interface and help drivers keep their eyes on the road.”
The California-only Kona EV, with a range of 258 miles, only adds to this compact Hyundai SUV’s appeal.
Truck of the Year: Ram 1500
From KBB’s Expert Review: “The 2019 Ram has a lot to crow about: It’s good-looking, more capable than ever, more comfortable thanks to a terrific coil-spring suspension, and offers one of the best connectivity systems available. Beyond the addition of more standard equipment, each trim level has a different theme and attitude.”
From our recent comparison of the Silverado and Ram 1500 Crew Cabs: “If you’re looking for a crew cab with higher towing, payload and horsepower and best-in-class bed volume, the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado is your truck. However, the Ram 1500 isn’t far behind in any of these categories, and it offers a smoother ride with its optional air suspension, plus a more refined interior. We’re especially fond of the big 12-inch touch screen and excellent eTorque system.”
Today’s 2019 NACTOY winners were chosen from the following nine finalists:
Truck of the Year: Ram 1500, Chevrolet Silverado 1500, GMC Sierra 1500