This is my dark-horse favorite. The CX-5 launched early in the year and thus is no longer top of mind. But it has won rapturous reviews for its drivability, and Mazdas are popular with enthusiasts because of their originality and the company's willingness to explore new roads. Mazda has had a winner in this category before -- the CX-9 took the crown in 2007 -- so keep an eye on it.
The jurors who pick the North American Car of the Year have come out with their shortlist. Our juror gives his odds.