DETROIT (WWJ) – Small cars took center stage as the finalists for North American Car and Truck of the Year Award were announced Thursday.

The finalists on the car side included the Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra and Volkswagen Passat. The Passat has already won the Motor Trend Car of the Year award.

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On the truck side, the finalists are the Honda CRV, BMW X-3 and Land Rover’s Range Rover Evoque.

Karl Brauer, one of the longtime jurors for the award, said this is one of the most diverse groups of finalists ever

“You’ve got a domestic, you’ve got a Japanese, you’ve got a Korean, you’ve got a British and you’ve got two German cars,” said Brauer. “So, this incredibly diverse field of vehicles has made this last six.”

Brauer also said it’s unique to see two small cars among the three Car of the Year finalists.

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“Now you’ve got these very desirable small cars for people to choose from.”

The finalists were chosen by a jury of fifty automotive journalists, including WWJ’s Jeff Gilbert and John McElroy. Now those jurors will conduct a second vote to determine the winners.

The finalists were revealed Thursday afternoon at an Automotive Press Association luncheon in Detroit.  The winners will be announced January 9th to start the North American International Auto Show at Detroit’s Cobo Center.

It’s the 19th year of the awards.

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