After hundreds of hours of test drives, research and evaluation by independent jurors, the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, Kia Telluride and Jeep Gladiator, in its debut year, were revealed today as the winners of the 2020 North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year (NACTOY) awards at TCF Center in Detroit.
These awards are unique and among the most prestigious in the industry because they are chosen by a panel of 50 respected jurors from print, online, radio and broadcast media across the U.S. and Canada – rather than by a single publication or media outlet.
“What’s not to like about a pickup truck with not only a soft-top removable roof but even removable doors? If you want massive cargo-hauling capability or the ability to tow 10,000 pounds, buy something else,” said longtime automotive journalist John Voelcker. “The eagerly awaited Gladiator is a one-of-a-kind truck, every bit the Jeep its Wrangler sibling is, but with a pickup bed. How could you possibly get more American than that?”
Jurors voted on the finalists based on segment leadership, innovation, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction and value for the dollar.
The process began in June 2019 with determination of vehicle eligibility and included three rounds of voting. Votes were tallied confidentially by Deloitte LLP and remained secret until envelopes were unsealed on stage by NACTOY President Lauren Fix, Vice President Chris Paukert and Secretary-Treasurer Kirk Bell.
The Gladiator is powered by a 3.6L Pentastar V6 engine, and Jeep marks all models “Trail Rated,” indicating the vehicles are designed to perform with traction, ground clearance, maneuverability, articulation and water fording capabilities in various off-road conditions.
Gladiator Rubicon models are equipped with Rock-Trac 4x4 system, featuring a two-speed transfer case with a 4:1 low-range gear ratio, front and rear heavy-duty Dana 44 axles, Tru-Lok electric front- and rear-axle lockers, segment-exclusive electronic sway bar disconnect, cab and bed rock rails and standard 33-in. Falken Wildpeak All-Terrain off-road tires.