2009 Ford F-150 (top); 2009 Hyundai Genesis. Click image to enlarge
The redesigned Ford F-150 pickup and all-new Hyundai Genesis luxury sedan have been named 2009 North American Truck and Car of the Year at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit.
The F-150 was competing with the 2009 Dodge Ram and 2009 Mercedes-Benz ML320 BlueTec for Truck of the Year; it beat out the second-place Ram by a 92-vote margin. The Genesis was up against the Ford Flex crossover and Volkswagen Jetta TDI and defeated the Flex by nine votes.
The Genesis drew praise for its combination of class-competitive luxury and refinement at a bargain price. “You’d be hard-pressed to get a more satisfying luxury car at twice the price,” said Juror and Autos contributor Tony Whitney of the Genesis. He called the F-150 “everything a state-of-the-art truck should be as the end of the decade approaches.”
Matt DeLorenzo of Road & Track magazine says the Genesis shows that the “Korean automakers have come of age… It reminds me of the original Lexus LS.” Freelance writer Dan McCosh felt that the F-150 “improves on a front-runner. It’s still the name that defines the pickup.”
The North American Car and Truck of the Year awards are handed out every January at the Detroit Auto Show. Three finalists for each award are voted on by a jury composed of automotive journalists from across the continent; votes are tabulated by Detroit accounting firm Deloitte & Touche. This is the 16th year the awards have been handed out. Last year’s winners were the Chevrolet Malibu (Car of the Year) and Mazda CX-9 (Truck of the Year).