A panel of 49 automotive journalists from Canada and the United States – representing newspapers, magazines, television, radio and Web sites – recently named the Chevrolet Volt sedan as the 2011 Car of the Year and the Ford Explorer crossover as the 2011 Truck of the Year. The criteria used to judge the winners include design, innovation, handling, safety, value for the dollar, and driver satisfaction.
The Volt, Hyundai Sonata and Nissan Leaf were 2011 North American Car of Year finalists, while the Explorer, Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee were Truck of the Year finalists.
The Volt, an electric car with an internal combustion engine, generates electricity after the battery is nearly depleted and the Leaf is an all-electric car. Both models went on sale in December 2010.
Hyundai Sonata is also available with a hybrid powertrain. The Durango and Grand Cherokee are SUVs, while the new Explorer is a crossover based on a car platform.
2011 truck semi-finalists were the Dodge Durango, Ford Explorer, Ford Edge, Hyundai Tucson, Honda Odyssey, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Infiniti QX56, Kia Sportage, Kia Sorento, Mercedes-Benz R class, Lincoln MKX, Toyota Sienna, Porsche Cayenne, and Volkswagen Touareg.
The 2011 car semi-finalists were the Buick Regal, Audi A8, Chevrolet Volt, Chevrolet Cruze, Ford Fiesta, Hyundai Sonata 2.0 T Hybrid, Infiniti M37/56, Jaguar XJ, Kia Optima, Mazda Mazda2, Nissan Juke, Nissan Leaf, Volkswagen Jetta, and Volvo S60. In 2010, the Ford Fusion took North American Car of the Year honors, while the Ford Transit Connect van was named Truck of the Year.