North American Car, Truck and Utility of the year revealed

Auto Show: Press Preview Underway

The North American International Auto Show is underway in Detroit with the vehicles of the year announced Monday morning.

The Accord, which went on sale last fall, is among many revamped vehicle models hoping to snare buyers as sales fall and SUVs rise.

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Foreign brands made up all of the nominees for Utility Vehicle of the Year, with the Volvo XC60 claiming the crown ahead of the Honda Odyssey minivan and Alfa Romeo Stelvio SUV, the first Italian-made vehicle up for the award. "The ride is exemplary, and when smartly equipped, it is a fine value".

Auto experts called the newly redesigned Accord the best iteration of its 41-year history, with sleeker styling and a roomier interior as well as a turbo-charged engine, CNN Money reported. The three awards were presented at the Detroit Auto Show.

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"Honda seems to have executed some sort of magic trick", Chris Paukert, a juror from CNET, said. The award caps a positive year for Ford trucks, which saw a 4.3-percent annual pop in segment sales, and a poor term for the Lincoln brand, which saw a 17-percent sales decline. "With its design now aligned with the Continental, the Navigator becomes an even more important image - and the profit maker for Lincoln", said Ron Sessions of the New York Daily News. It will go on sale early this year, Honda News reported.

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