At the 2012 North American International Auto Show, the Hyundai Elantra and Land Rover Range Rover Evoque was announced as the winner of the North American Car and Truck of the Year 2012 award respectively.

The awards are unique in the United States because instead of being given by a single media outlet they are awarded by a coalition of no more than 50 automotive journalists from the United States and Canada who represent magazines, television, radio, newspapers and websites.

The awards are designed to recognize the most outstanding new vehicles of the year. These vehicles are benchmarks in their segments based on factors including innovation, comfort, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction and value for the dollar.

"The Hyundai Elantra is sporty, yet sensible. Luxurious, yet affordable. Spunky, but safe. The Elantra is a series of paradoxes and every one is another argument for the latest, impressive entry in the Hyundai lineup," wrote Jayne O’Donnell, a member of the jury from USA Today.

This is the second time Hyundai receives this award, as the Genesis was heralded the 2009 North American Car of the Year. The Sonata was also one of the finalists for last year's awards.

Another juror, Alex Taylor, of Fortune magazine, wrote: "Range Rover successfully charts a new direction for the venerable SUV trailblazer with a fresh design and advanced thinking about environmental issues."

To be eligible a vehicle must be all new or substantially changed. The jurors considered dozens of new vehicles before sending their ballots to Michelle Collins, a partner at Deloitte & Touche early in December.

The jurors gave the Elantra 174 points, the Passat 161 and the Focus 155 for the Car of the Year category and gave the Evoque 254 points, the CR-V 142 and the X3 94 for the Truck of the Year category.

The "2011 North American Car of the Year" was the Chevrolet Volt, and the Ford Explorer as the "2011 North American Truck of the Year".