The 2021 Ford Bronco, in spite of its many production challenges, is undoubtedly a smash hit with buyers, who waited a full quarter-century for the iconic off-roader to return. It will be a while before Ford is able to fill all of its Ford Bronco orders, but in the meantime, the rugged SUV has made the cut as a finalist for a very distinctive honor – 2022 North American Utility Vehicle of the Year, joining the 2022 Ford Maverick, which is a finalist for 2022 North American Truck of the Year.
The Bronco is competing against the Genesis GV70 crossover and the all-electric Hyundai IONIQ 5 for this coveted award in a three-way bout that couldn’t be more diverse. After all, the Bronco is an open-air off-road-focused SUV, while the G70 is a luxurious people hauler and the IONIQ 5 is an EV crossover that’s more of a hatchback than anything else. The three finalists were announced today at the 2021 LA Auto Show and are joined by six other finalists for North American Truck of the Year and North American Car of the Year, which were narrowed down from an initial field of 23 semifinalists.
“These nine vehicles represent an unusually excellent and diverse group of finalists,” said NACTOY president Gary Witzenburg. “From new OEMs to vehicles that have created fresh segments in their categories, these vehicles showcase the automotive industry’s current diversification. This year’s finalists also illustrate how many more electric vehicles are becoming available to customers across multiple vehicle types.” “The diverse opinions of our jurors bring together a combination of expertise and individual testing regimens to select these nine outstanding finalists,” added NACTOY Vice President Jack R. Nerad. “This results in a comprehensive and thoughtful selection process unique to NACTOY.”
A total of 50 automotive journalists vote three times to determine the NACTOY winners, all of whom test each vehicle and judge it based on innovation, design, safety, performance, technology, driver satisfaction, and value. The third and final votes, which will determine the winners in each category, will take place December 30th – January 5th, 2022, and the 2022 NACTOY Car, Truck, and Utility of the Year winners will be announced in early January.