Chevrolet Bolt Named North American Car of the Year

GM’s mass-market electric car adds to its list of awards.

byWill Sabel Courtney| UPDATED Jan 10, 2017 11:11 AM

Last night's Golden Globes may be dominating the awards news today, but the car world also handed down some of its biggest trophies at the Detroit Auto Show this morning. And while taking home the North American Car of the Year award may seem like one small step for the victorious Chevrolet Bolt, it's one giant leap for EV-kind. Because this marks the first time a purely electric vehicle has taken home this prize.

The Bolt took the victory by a country mile, garnering 364 points from the jury, which consists of dozens of esteemed North American automotive journalists (including The Drive's very own Lawrence Ulrich, who reviewed the Bolt in November of last year); in contrast, the runner-up, the Genesis G90 luxury sedan, scored a mere 105 points. 

As Chevrolet was more than happy to point out in the press release trumpeting the news, this latest award is the latest in a long string of accolades for GM's EV hero. With a base price of $37,495 before tax credits (the $7,500 federal rebate alone knocks the car's price below the magic $30K mark) and a 238-mile range thanks to its 60-kilowatt-hour battery, the Bolt has staked out the new high ground in terms of electric vehicle bang-for-the-buck—and gives it a leg up on its theoretical arch-nemesis, the Tesla Model 3

Fiat-Chrysler and Honda also scored big at the NACOTY awards this year. The new Honda Ridgeline took home the North American Truck of the Year award, beating out the Ford F-Series Super Duty and becoming the first unibody pickup truck to claim the prize; the Chrysler Pacifica, meanwhile, grabbed the new-for-2017 North American Utility Vehicle of the Year award, whomping the Mazda CX-9 and Jaguar F-Pace in the process.