Double-Double: Ford Bronco, Maverick Scoop North American Utility, Truck Awards
Two of the hottest new Ford vehicles have picked up two of the industry’s absolute top honors. On Tuesday, the Ford Bronco won the 2022 North American Utility Vehicle of the Year award while the all-new Maverick scooped up North American Truck of the Year.
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This makes two straight years that Ford has doubled up in the NACTOYs. In 2021, the F-150 picked up Truck of the Year while the all-electric Mustang Mach-E won Utility Vehicle of the Year.
Accepting the award in Detroit was Ford President of the Americas and International Market Group Kumar Galhotra.
“We’re thrilled and honored to earn both Truck and Utility of the Year from the NACTOY jury for the Ford Maverick and Bronco, especially among such a strong field of competitors,” said Galhotra. “But we’re also proud because these awards are well-deserved recognition for the tremendous amount of work, focus, and energy our teams have invested in designing, engineering, and building exciting vehicles for our customers.”
What the judges say about the 2022 Ford Bronco, Maverick
The NACTOY awards were decided as ever by a board of 50 independent jurors representing automotive media outlets across the U.S. and Canada. The Ford Maverick won by beating out the Rivian R1T and Hyundai Santa Cruz while the Bronco topped the Genesis GV70 and Hyundai IONIQ 5.
Jurors heaped no shortage of praise upon both vehicles. Car and Driver’s Steven Cole Smith called the Maverick “the best buy in the North American auto realm,” while Kelley Blue Book’s Matt DeLorenzo said that the Maverick “redefines the truck market.”
Of the Bronco, The Detroit News’ Henry Payne made a sly reference to last year’s No Time to Die, in which James Bond drove a Land Rover Defender.
“If the Bond bad guys had had the Bronco’s Sasquatch package, ol’ James might have been in trouble,” he writes.
Not to be outdone, Jack R Nerad of America on the Road may or may not take a thinly veiled shot at the Chevy Blazer and Trailblazer. Nerad said that the Ford Bronco won the North American Utility Vehicle of the Year award because it “delivers on the promise of its legendary name” rather than provide “a lukewarm placeholder with a nostalgic logo.” Ouch.
Bronco, Maverick stacking up trophies
The North American Car, Truck, and Utility Vehicle of the Year Awards are arguably the most coveted in all of automotive. But both the Ford Bronco and Maverick have quite the collection of honors in their respective pockets. Or at least they would if they had pockets — which they do.
Since its launch, the red-hot Ford Bronco has picked up a plethora of hardware, including the iF Design Gold Award and The Detroit News’ Readers’ Choice Awards for Baddest Off-Road Vehicle and Best Family Fun Finder. The Bronco also picked up the 4×4 of the Year Award at SEMA thanks in no small part to its near-limitless options for customization.
The all-new Maverick, which began arriving at dealerships late last year, has thus far scooped up top honors from Detroit Free Press, KBB.com, Popular Science, and Green Car Journal. With the North American Truck of the Year award making at least a dozen thus far, it’s a good thing the Maverick has ample under-seat storage to stow all those trophies.
Ford’s NACTOY winners both in high demand
While North American Utility Vehicle and Truck of the Year awards are very nice, the real litmus test of the Ford Bronco and Maverick’s popularity is how customers take to it. And as Galhotra noted, both have been the recipients of an “overwhelming reception.”
Since its debut, the Bronco has proven a bona fide smash hit. It quickly racked up nearly 200,000 reservations, converting 125,000 of that to sales. Despite production woes amplified by the semiconductor shortage, Ford wrapped up 2021 with December Bronco sales reaching 9,168 and the SUV taking just seven days to turn on lots. For the year, Ford sold 35,023 Broncos.
The Maverick is a similar success story with the ultra-efficient hybrid version essentially selling out for the 2022 model year. Ford delivered 13,258 Maverick trucks over four months of sales last year.
Can Ford three-peat as a NACTOY twofer?
While the 2023 awards are quite a ways off, it’s fair to say Ford has the inside track for Truck of the Year again thanks to the F-150 Lightning, which launches this spring and is already a runaway favorite. It could have another strong contender in the Raptor R, which should feature the Shelby GT500’s 5.2-liter supercharged V8. Expect that truck to top the output of the Ram 1500 TRX.
As for SUVs, Ford’s new Expedition will be in the running, as could the soon-to-be-revealed Bronco Raptor. Ford may also have something up its sleeve as far as a new electric SUV goes, but we’ll have to wait and see how 2022 plays out. And play out it shall!