North American Car and Truck of the Year finalists announced

The North American Car and Truck of the Year jury panel, comprising 50 auto journalists, has announced the finalists for the 2013 award which will be presented at the Detroit auto show in January.

The finalists selected in the 2013 Car of the Year category are the 2013 models of three sedans - the Cadillac ATS, Ford Fusion, and Honda Accord; while the finalists in the Truck of the Year category are the Ford C-Max hybrid crossover/van, Mazda CX-5 crossover, and the 2013 Ram 1500 pickup, which has already been named `Motor Trend Truck of the Year' and `Truck of Texas.'

Noting that selecting the finalists for the 2013 Car and Truck of the Year award was apparently a very difficult decision for the jury panel, Edmunds. com juror and senior analyst Michele Krebs said that the car category was particularly competitive because the contenders included the Nissan Altima and Dodge Dart.

About the selection of the finalists by the North American Car and Truck of the Year panel, Detroit Free Press auto critic Mark Phelan - one of the auto journalists on the panel - said that "efficiency" was the key criteria that the jury kept in mind while picking out the finalists.

Pointing out that all the six finalist vehicles - three each in the car and truck category - "use latest engineering to get more from less," Phelan said: "Small, powerful engines, new transmissions, lightweight construction and hybrid technology are changing the nature of the vehicles we drive."