Saluting the best of 2021

By Exeter Finance

Looking for a fantastic new vehicle? Who isn’t, right? One way to find out which new models are hot and worthy of consideration is to check out more than two-dozen semi-finalists in the North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year (NACTOY) awards.

Each year, the 26-year-old awards program recognizes “excellence in innovation, design, safety, performance, technology driver satisfaction and value.”1 The 2021 awards program has 27 semi-finalists across its three categories, including eight cars, 15 utility vehicles and four trucks.2

NACTOY will release the names of the finalists on Dec. 17 and publish the winners on Jan. 11. At stake are year-long bragging rights and a highly-sought-after third-party endorsement every manufacturer would love to have if it earns the title of North American Car, Utility or Truck of the Year.

At Exeter, we’re officially non-partisan and love all makes and models! Here’s a list of the 27 models under consideration. Best of luck to all!

Car of the Year

  • Acura TLX
  • Cadillac CT4/CT4-V
  • Genesis G80
  • Hyundai Elantra family (includes N Line and HEV)
  • Kia K5
  • Mercedes-Benz E Class Sedan, All-Terrain, Coupe, Cabriolet
  • Nissan Sentra
  • Polestar 2

Utility of the Year

  • Cadillac Escalade
  • Chevrolet Tahoe/Suburban
  • Chevrolet Trailblazer
  • Ford Bronco Sport
  • Ford Mustang Mach E
  • Genesis GV80
  • Hyundai Santa Fe
  • Kia Seltos
  • Kia Sorento
  • Land Rover Defender
  • Mazda CX-30
  • Nissan Rogue
  • Toyota RAV4 Prime
  • Toyota Venza
  • Volvo XC40 P8 Recharge


Truck of the Year

  • Ford Super Duty
  • Ford F-150
  • Ram 1500 TRX
  • Jeep Gladiator Mojave

 1 North American Car, Truck and Utility of the Year. (2020). About NACTOY. Retrieved from:
 2 NACTOY. (Sept. 30, 2020). NACTOY Names 27 Semifinalists for 2021 Car, Utility and Truck of the Year Awards. Retrieved from:

About Exeter
Exeter Finance LLC is a non-prime auto finance company headquartered in Irving, Texas. The company partners with franchised and independent auto dealers throughout the country to make car ownership a reality for consumers. For more information, call our Dealer Operations Group at 1-855-4EXETER (855-439-3837).

Category: Industry