2010 Ford Taurus SHO – Click above for high-res image gallery

There's seemingly no end to the lists and awards that can be dolled out to (sometimes questionably) deserving cars and trucks at the end of the year. Take, for instance, the Urban Automobile of the Year Award by On Wheels Media. This is the 14th year in a row the award has been passed out, and this year top billing goes to the 2010 Ford Taurus SHO.

Athletic, upscale, class-leading, confident, engaging and impressive are all words that seem befitting of an award winner, and you'll find all of them in the press release after the break describing the new SHO. But wait – there's more! We have a second Urban AOTY, this one on the green side of the coin. With the latest Toyota Prius and Honda Insight obvious choices for such an award, Ford is surely happy to see that its 2010 Fusion Hybrid – the most fuel efficient midsize sedan in America at 41 city, 36 highway – earned the trophy, giving the Blue Oval a total sweep of the ceremony.

So, what qualifies a vehicle to be an Urban Automobile of the Year, anyway? Glad you asked. According to Randi Payton, president and publisher of On Wheels Media, "The Urban Automobiles of the Year resonate with the majority of new car buyers who live in urban and suburban areas. The vehicles chosen are cost and fuel-efficient and have performance and safety characteristics relevant to consumers in metropolitan areas." So, there you have it.


Related GalleryReview: 2010 Ford Taurus SHO

Related GalleryReview: 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid
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[Source: Ford]


PRESS RELEASE:

Ford Taurus SHO & Fusion Hybrid Named 2010 Urban Autos of the Year

The Ford Taurus SHO America's smartest full-size sedan has been named '2010 Urban Car of the Year' by On Wheels Media and an independent panel of 15 automotive journalists

The Ford Fusion Hybrid America's most fuel-efficient mid-size sedan has been named '2010 Urban Green Vehicle of the Year' by On Wheels Media, the fifth award for Fusion in recent months

The awards will be presented during the 14th Annual Urban Wheel Awards taking place in Detroit on January 12, 2010

The Ford Fusion Hybrid America's most fuel-efficient mid-size sedan has been named '2010 Urban Green Vehicle of the Year' by On Wheels Media, the fifth award for Fusion in recent months
The awards will be presented during the 14th Annual Urban Wheel Awards taking place in Detroit on January 12, 2010

DEARBORN, Mich., Dec. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- This week, editors of On Wheels Media announced that the 2010 Ford Taurus SHO has been voted "Urban Car of the Year" and the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid has been named "Urban Green Vehicle of the Year," a category-first for the annual awards show.

"The all-new Ford Taurus not only squashes its competition in road dynamics and style, but it may very well bring formerly passionate customers back to a nameplate that was once all the rage, but in recent years had become the definition of dull." said Kelley Blue Book's Beth Lear VanderYacht, who was also one of the 15 judges.

With its athletic, upscale design, the 2010 Ford Taurus SHO combines class-leading technologies with confident, engaging driving dynamics. It features an impressive set of standard and available technologies that add convenience, connectivity, safety and value for customers, such as Blind Spot Information System (BLIS®) with Cross Traffic Alert, MyKey(TM) parental programmability, Ford SYNC® and Voice-Activated Navigation with SIRIUS Travel Link(TM).

According to Ford multicultural marketing manager Crystal Worthem, this award is continued evidence of the wide ranging appeal of this all-new vehicle from Ford.

"The Taurus SHO is creating a tremendous amount of buzz within the urban market," she said.

"Since the launch of Taurus in August, we saw it outshine the competition, including the imports and we continue to see evidence of its appeal when it comes to showroom traffic," said Worthem. "Not only have sales for Taurus been strong, up 54 percent in November alone, but 60 percent of Taurus SHO customers are new to the Ford brand creating a huge amount of buzz within the urban market."

Finalists for the 2010 "Urban Car of the Year" included the Buick LaCrosse and Suzuki Kizashi.

2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid "Urban Green Vehicle of the Year"

There's also good news for environmentally-conscious automotive consumers. In addition to the award presented to the 2010 Taurus, the panelists have named the Fusion Hybrid as the "Urban Green Vehicle of the Year." 2010 represents the first year that the "Urban Green Vehicle of the Year" award will be presented to a manufacturer. "All three of the nominees are great cars, but while two of them are slightly improved versions of what they've been all along, the Fusion carries the hybrid class forward with new innovations and a significant improvement in efficiency and operation," said freelance reviewer Chris Jackson.

Ford Hybrid Marketing Manager David Finnegan says winning the award demonstrates Ford's versatility as a hybrid manufacturer.

"We are continuing to expand our portfolio to offer consumers a wider range of alternatives," said Finnegan. "Not only do we have the most fuel-efficient SUV on the planet with the Ford Escape Hybrid but we also are committed to being a leader in the car segment. The 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid provides 41 mpg in city driving and 36 mpg on the highway, making it North America's most fuel-efficient midsize sedan."

In addition to smart technology, the 2010 Fusion Hybrid offers a variety of advanced safety features. The vehicle received a "Top Safety Pick" rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and delivers segment-exclusive safety and driver-aid technologies, such as Ford SYNC(TM) with 911 Assist and Blind Spot Information System with Cross Traffic Alert.

Further enhancing its "green" image, the Fusion Hybrid features sustainable interior materials including seats that are made from eco-friendly fabric and filled with soy-based seat foam.

Randi Payton, president and publisher of On Wheels Media said, "The Urban Automobiles of the Year resonate with the majority of new car buyers who live in urban and suburban areas. The vehicles chosen are cost and fuel-efficient and have performance and safety characteristics relevant to consumers in metropolitan areas.

Awards will be presented at the Urban Wheel Awards event at the Sound Board Theater, located in the Motor City Hotel and Casino in Detroit on Tuesday, January 12, 2010.

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 200,000 employees and about 90 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Volvo. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit www.ford.com.

On Wheels Media, Inc.

On Wheels Media, Inc. is a multi-media communications company that produces consumer-oriented print and digital publications, web sites, broadcast media, and events. Publications include the all-new DECISIVE Magazine, A comprehensive multi-media platform for multicultural consumers. It also produces African-Americans On Wheels and Latinos On Wheels magazines, which are distributed in more than 100 newspapers throughout the United States and have a combined readership of 8 million. The company also produces consumer events and launched the first automotive magazine Web site, www.onwheelsinc.com in 1995. Visit www.onwheelsinc.com for more information and to sign up for your complimentary digital subscription.