Chrysler’s Pacifica has been listed as a contender for the North American Car and Truck/Utility of the Year’s first SUV award.
The contest has been ongoing since 1994 and every year, a jury of 60 automotive journalists will scrutinise a list of eligible vehicles before narrowing down the list until they have three finalists for each award. While the 2017 awards won’t be handed out until next year at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the selection process has already begun this month and the 13 preliminary SUVs has been chosen.
This new category was added because of the segment’s rising popularity and because “customers use SUVs for everything from work to family transportation to off-road recreation. The NACTOY jury recognizes that with the new award.” Even though the Pacifica is technically a van, it still falls under the SUV award because it mostly competes with SUVs like the Toyota Highlander and Ford Explorer.
The voting process for the SUV award occurs in three stages; first the jurors will create a short list of 12 or so vehicles, later in December they will vote on the short list vehicles which will narrow down the list until only three vehicles are left and finally, the winner is decided before the Detroit auto show award ceremony.
To win, the Pacifica will need to beat the other contenders comprised of the 2017 Audi Q7, Bentley Bentayga, Buick Envision, Cadillac XT5, GMC Acadia, Infiniti QX30, 2017 Kia Sportage, Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class, Jaguar F-Pace, Mazda CX-9 and Nissan Armada.
What does everyone think? Does the Pacifica have a chance of winning?