A reader writes:
Jim, now that the NACOTY results are out, why not provide an analysis of the winners on a cost-per-point basis?
E.g., it seems quite unfair to compare a Range Rover Evoque to a Honda CR-V on a straight-up basis. We need to factor cost into the equation.
Our 'brief', if you will, as jurors for the North American Car/Truck of the Year is not necessarily to compare the finalists to each other; rather, against the standards in the class in which each vehicle competes.
It just so happened that two of the cars (Ford Focus and Hyundai Elantra) were compact sedans, hence WERE direct competitors, although that typically is not the case.
Many members of the jury were surprised that Elantra beat Focus, but I wasn't. The Ford's awful automatic transmission and near-hopeless SYNC connectivity nonsense brought it down in my view.
The third finalist, Volkswagen Passat, makes big strides for this car, especially in affordability and interior space. But apparently, we collectively didn't think it was 'better enough' against, say, Camry or Accord.
The three 'trucks' were all cross-overs, and the Evoque and BMW X3 are pretty close to straight-up competitors too. The fact that the Evoque comprehensively beat the BMW tells how good the Evoque is.
The BMW by any measure is a HUGE improvement over the old X3; if the award was for 'Most Improved Player', it would have won in a walk!
Again collectively, we apparently didn't think the CR-V was 'better enough' versus a huge and very competitive field of mid-priced compact crossovers.
Hope this helps explain the outcome.
Full disclosure; I gave the majority of my points to the winners, which is rare for me!