Better. Pickup contest. Already.
I hardly remember the 17 sport sedans, luxury cars and SUVs that I recently drove on the North American Car of the Year jury program to compare the semi-finalists for the car, SUV and truck of the year 2022.
Because, the microphones.
It’s the best year ever for new pickups, setting up the tightest and most interesting competition ever.
Normally, I find the Truck of the Year to be the least competitive category. Big trucks trump midsize pickups, and leaders rarely go head-to-head with brand new models in the same year.
The vehicles are often great. The competition is not.
Vans and minivans? NACTOY’s voting history indicates that they are candidates too, regardless of what they mean to the economy and the league football teams. Thanks for playing. Have an orange slice.
This year is very different. Four outstanding new pickups appealing to very different types of buyers make their debut, as well as replacements for a pair of long-standing models.
It’s up to anyone to guess who will win. For the first time in my memory, I can’t even guess which three finalists will be.
As a NACTOY juror, I am one of 50 automotive journalists from the United States and Canada who vote for the awards each year. We have a few weeks left to drive and think before we vote to pick three finalists each for North American Car, Truck and SUV of the Year.
The finalists will be announced on November 17th. Then my fellow jurors and I have about six weeks for further evaluations before the winners are announced on January 11, 2022.
2022 North American Truck of the Year Semi-Finalists
- Ford Maverick
- GMC HUMMER EV
- Hyundai Santa Cruz
- Nissan Frontier
- Rivien R1T
- Toyota Tundra
The fantastic four out of six
Ford Maverick, GMC Hummer EV, Hyundai Santa Cruz, and Rivian R1T pickup trucks are the most powerful and diverse field of pickup trucks in my experience. Each of them is completely new.
I think it’s a safe bet that three of them will be finalists, but there’s no doubt that the 2022 Toyota Tundra full-size pickup and mid-size Nissan Frontier – welcome to new versions of existing pickups – will get votes.
- Everything I write about these trucks is my opinion, not that of another juror.
- As of this writing, I’m not sure which mics will get my votes for the semi-finalists.
- All prices exclude destination charges.
- Compact pickup
- Base price: $ 19,995
The Maverick is the cheapest hybrid on the market. It can accommodate five people, tow 4,000 pounds and carry 1,500 more in its cabin and bed.
More than that, it’s an entry-level vehicle with no excuses that won’t embarrass its owners. Ingenious design and engineering endowed it with visual appeal, functionality and useful technology. Equipped with a good audio system, all-wheel drive and a 250 horsepower engine, it still saves less than $ 34,000.
The Maverick’s strongest selling point is affordability. It is traditionally a good card to play with NACTOY voters.
Following: 2022 Ford Maverick Packs Value, Features and Power into One Small Pickup
GMC Hummer EV
- Full-size electric luxury pickup
- First edition price: $ 112,595
Call the GMC Hummer EV Moe. Power Mo ‘: 1,000 horsepower of a new electric vehicle system. Mo ‘technology: four-wheel steering, hands-free highway driving, three independently controlled motors. Electric range Mo ‘: 350 miles, with an ultra-fast charging capacity of 800 V DC. Mo ‘bravado: LED lights up a mile wide on its nose, 0-60 mph in 3.1 seconds. Mo ‘money: $ 112,595 for the launch edition. A possible “base” model will cost $ 79,995 in 2024.
The five-passenger GMC Hummer checks every box so hard it tears the paper.
NACTOY jurors love affordability, but we love cutting edge technology and performance without excuses.
Following: GMC Hummer electric pickup delivers outstanding power, performance and technology
Hyundai Santa Cruz
- Compact pickup
- Base price: $ 23,990
Hyundai’s dynamic-looking Santa Cruz pickup is perhaps the brand’s most maneuverable vehicle, thanks to a stiff chassis and well-tuned steering and suspension. It’s also practical, comfortable and packed with technology for added convenience and safety.
And the Santa Cruz looks like a spaceship, but in a cool “Mandalorian” way, not the look of the Tesla Cybertruck that crashed into an asteroid.
NACTOY voters traditionally love small microphones. Combine that with exceptional handling, and Hyundai’s small truck made a strong impression.
Following: The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz compact pickup is great, but who will buy it?
- Luxury pickup
- First edition: $ 73,000
Being the first account, and Rivian’s slick R1T was the first full-size electric pickup on the market, beating the GMC Hummer by a few months. The R1T doesn’t pretend to be a work truck, as evidenced by options like a camp kitchen with an electric range and a sink that slips out of a handy compartment between the five-seat club cabin and the R1T’s short bed. .
Short trips in an R1T convinced jurors that Rivian, a startup that combined money and running Silicon Valley with engineering from Detroit and manufacturing from the Midwest, is a force to be reckoned with.
More siege time could catapult the newcomer into the race for Truck of the Year.
Following: Rivian R1T: the first full-size electric pickup has a cartoon keeper, over 800 hp
- Intermediate pick-up
- Base price: $ 27,840
In this company, the Frontier, a good redesign of a respected model, is a bit of a flower of the wall. Hundreds of thousands of Americans buy midsize pickup trucks every year, and Brie Larson will tell you during the commercials of virtually every NFL game that trucks like this have helped build Nissan’s reputation.
The 2022 Frontier echoes the brand’s popular hard-body look of the 1980s. It can tow up to 6,570 pounds, has a 3.8L V6 developing 310 horsepower, two- and four-door cabs and two lengths. checkout.
Following: Nissan Frontier 2022 Seeks To Increase Sales With Tough Body Appearance And Safety Features
- Full size pickup
- Base price: to be determined
The 2022 Tundra, the second generation of Toyota’s first true full-size pickup, makes several leaps from its 14-year-old predecessor:
- It gives up the power of the V8 for a pair of twin-turbo V6s.
- There is a hybrid model.
- Standard independent rear suspension.
- New infotainment system developed in the United States with virtual assistant.
- Navigation, memory and other cloud-based features.
This combination could be synonymous with “winner” in other years, but the work of the tundra is made for that this year.
Following: 2022 Toyota Tundra Brings Hybrid Power and Cloud-Based Navigation to Truck Wars