In the midst of a worsening global pandemic it’s easy to forget that it’s almost time to announce The 2021 North American Car, Truck and Utility Vehicle of the Year. But the all-new T1 platform GM SUVs – the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe, 2021 Chevrolet Suburban, 2021 GMC Yukon, 2021 Yukon Denali, and 2021 Cadillac Escalade, are nowhere to be found on the shortlist.
This popularity contest for 2021 North American Car of the Year appears to be a severely mundane affair with the Genesis G80, Hyundai Elantra, and Nissan Sentra competing for the trophy. As if you needed any indicator that the sedan segment is a shell of its former self. We would have at least considered the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye, and its belligerent levels of horsepower.
Moving on, competition for the 2021 North American Truck of the Year promises to be a tantilizing affair which sees the redesigned 2021 Ford F-150, brand new Ram 1500 TRX, and Jeep Gladiator Mojave pitted against each other for top billing. The three finalists are well deserving of their place in the ultimate round, with the 2021 F-150 offering no less than six powertrains, sharp looking new sheet metal, and a gargantuan 12-inch infotainment screen which matches what FCA has already provided to Ram shoppers. Speaking of Ram, the new TRX is the long anticipated Hellcat truck that plans to lay the hurt on Ford F-150 Raptors everywhere. While the Jeep Gladiator Mojave brings desert running capability to the mid-size segment where it will square off with the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2.
For the 2021 North American Utility Vehicle of the Year, we’ll see the Ford’s first performance oriented electric vehicle, the 2021 Mustang Mach E, take on the Genesis GV80, and Land Rover Defender for the crown. While the Mustang Mach-E has our seal of approval, we here at MC&T can’t help but feel a slight pang of disappointment as none of the brand new full-size SUVs from General Motors made it to the finals.
Despite being, arguably, the most well rounded of the three new big boys from GM, the 2021 GMC Yukon and 2021 GMC Yukon XL were cut from the competition before the semifinal round. The 2021 Cadillac Escalade and 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe and 2021 Chevrolet Suburban did make it through to the semi final round, but neither of them could penetrate through to final voting.
It’s an unfortunate snub for a trio of full-size SUVs that have brought game changing engineering, vehicle dynamics and technology to the segment.
The winners will be announced at 11 a.m. on Monday, January 11 during a virtual event with representatives from winning automakers. Stay tuned for the winner for the 2021 North American Truck and SUV of the year, which MC&T predicts will be a Ford 1-2.
– By Michael Accardi