DETROIT (Jan. 10, 2011) — A panel of North American automotive journalists has voted the Chevrolet Volt sedan and Ford Explorer crossover the 2011 car and truck of the year.
The panel, consisting of 49 U.S. and Canadian auto journalists from magazines, newspapers, websites, television and radio, based its decision on innovation, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction and value for the dollar.
The Volt won over the Nissan Leaf and Hyundai Sonata in the car category while the Explorer bested the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango among the truck finalists.
The Volt is an electric car with an internal combustion engine that generates electricity after the battery is nearly depleted, and the Leaf is an all-electric car. Both models went on sale in December. The Sonata is also available with a hybrid powertrain.
The new Explorer is a crossover based on a car platform, and the Grand Cherokee and Durango are SUVs.
Last year's winners were the Ford Fusion and Ford Transit Connect van.
American auto makers have won the car honor 10 times, European car makers four, Japenses three and South Korean once.
Domestic auto makers have taken the truck honors a dozen times in the 18 years it's been awarded. Japanese makers have won four times and European makers twice.