Range Rover Evoque beats BMW to North American Truck of the Year

The British-designed and built Range Rover Evoque has won the title North American Truck of the Year, beating the BMW X3 and Honda CR-V.

"We're going to market the hell out of this," said a smiling Andy Goss , president of Jaguar Land Rover North America, on a stage above the four-cylinder SUV.

He said it was a tremendous honour and humbling for the company, now owned by the Indian Tata Motors . In 18 previous contests, Range Rover has had finalists but never a winner. The U.S. is the world's largest Range Rover market.

The Evoque, built at Halewood on Merseyside,and described as a compact crossover, has been widely praised since its launch last year. The price starts at $43,995 in the US. It gets 18 miles per gallon in city driving and 28 mpg on the highway.

Fifty motoring journalists voted on the winning vehicles from a group of finalists, Bloomberg reported. The vehicles must be all new or substantially changed to be considered.

The Hyundai Elantra beat the Ford Focus and Volkwagen Passat to win the 2012 North American Car of the Year award. The awards were announced at the start of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Media previews are being held all week and the show opens to the public on Saturday.

John Krafcik, Hyundai's North American CEO, said the award wouldn't sell more cars - because the company already is selling as many Elantras as it can make at its factory in Alabama . However, he said, "It should be helpful for our brand going forward."

The Elantra starts at $16,445 in the US and gets an estimated 33 mpg.

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