THE BLADE/LORI KING Enlarge | Buy This Photo
DETROIT — The Toledo-built Jeep Cherokee is one of three finalists for truck/utility vehicle of the year, one of the most prestigious awards in the industry.
The 2014 North American Car and Truck of the Year will be announced Jan. 13 during media day at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
A jury of 48 automotive journalists tested 24 new or redesigned vehicles, and the finalists were announced at an Automotive Press Association luncheon at the Detroit Athletic Club.
In the truck/utility vehicle of the year category, the Cherokee is up against the Acura MDX and the Chevrolet Silverado.
The finalists for car of the year are the Cadillac CTS, Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, and Mazda3.
Three of the six finalists are General Motors Co. products.
“Today’s announcement is proof we’re on the right track,” said Mark Reuss, president of GM’s North America division.
“It’s gratifying to see the experts agree that we’re offering customers one of the strongest lineups of cars and trucks available on the market.”
Now that the finalists have been chosen, the jurors will vote again, basing rankings on multiple factors, including innovation, design, safety, handling, comfort, value, and driver satisfaction.
The awards, first handed out in 1994, are unique in North America because instead of being given by a single publication, Web site, radio, or television program, they are chosen by automotive journalists representing all those outlets.
Last year’s winners were the Cadillac ATS in the car category and the Dodge Ram 1500 in the truck/utility category.
Workers at Chrysler Group LLC’s Toledo Assembly complex began building Cherokees in June, but sales were delayed until late October while Chrysler tweaked, tested, and retested the vehicle’s new 9-speed transmission.
The Cherokee comes in four trim levels: Sport, Latitude, Limited, and Trailhawk.
Prices range from about $24,000 for a base-model Sport to more than $41,000 for a fully loaded Trailhawk.