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Chevrolet Volt, Ford Explorer Win Car and Truck of the Year

Jan 10, 2011

If you’re wondering which car and truck automotive journalists think are the best in North America, wonder no more: The Chevrolet Volt has won the 2011 North American Car of the Year award and the Ford Explorer won 2011 North American Truck of the Year.

“We aren't necessarily surprised by either winner, especially the Volt, which has taken the automotive industry by storm in recent months,” says Autoblog. “General Motors' range-extended EV has already been named Motor Trend Car of the Year and Automobile of the Year, and regardless of the sedan's shortcomings, it is no doubt an impressive engineering feat for GM. The Volt also won the Green Car of the Year award and the Detroit Free Press' Car of the Year title.”

The Detroit Free Press reports, “The Volt beat out two other finalists, the Hyundai Sonata and the battery-powered Nissan Leaf,” adding “After nearly four years of anticipation, many car critics are saying the Volt's performance is impressive. With a starting price of about $41,000 before a $7,500 federal tax credit, the Volt travels between 25-50 miles on an electric charge before a gasoline-engine switches on to generate more electricity. Since its introduction in December, Chevrolet has sold 326 Volts.”

Journalists have less to say about the Ford Explorer’s win, which isn’t surprising given its conventional powertrain. Still Autoblog says, “The new Explorer's transition from a traditional body-on-frame SUV to a modern crossover certainly hasn't weakened its appeal to both the media and consumers alike, and with an EcoBoost version arriving within the next few months, the Expy's market share will undoubtedly get larger.” The Explorer beat out the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee and the 2011 Dodge Durango for the win. Also, Ford has dominated the North American Truck of the Year award since it was introduced. This mark’s Ford’s seventh award. By contrast, it is only the fourth time General Motors has won North American Car of the year.

“In choosing a winner, the journalists were asked to consider factors including innovation, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction and value,” explains the New York Times.

CNNMoney adds that the awards “are voted on by a jury of up to 50 automotive journalists from the United States and Canada.”
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