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North American Car and Truck of the Year Finalists Announced

2012 Hyundai Elantra

The Automotive Press Association has revealed the vehicles in the running for the 2012 North American Car of the Year and North American Truck of the Year awards, which will be given out at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January.

The Volkswagen Passat, Hyundai Elantra and Ford Focus are the North American Car of the Year finalists, and the Honda CR-V, Land Rover Range Rover Evoque and BMW X3 are the North American Truck of the Year finalists. Last year’s winners were the Chevrolet Volt and Ford Explorer. The Passat was recently named the 2012 Motor Trend Car of the Year, while the Evoque took home the 2012 SUV of the Year award from Motor Trend.

2012 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque

“To be eligible a vehicle must be all new or substantially changed,” the North American Car of the Year awards committee says in a statement. The award is voted on by a jury of automotive journalists in the U.S. and Canada.

Forbes, who has an auto journalist on the jury, says that the awards aim to pick “a car and a truck that set new benchmarks in the classes in which they compete.” Vehicles are evaluated on things like their performance, handling, value, safety and driver satisfaction, Forbes reports.

USA Today, who also has an auto journalist on the jury, says the award is “considered the most prestigious” of all the automotive awards currently given.

Follow our coverage of the Detroit Auto Show to see who the winners are when they’re announced Jan. 9.

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