• Dec 30th 2010 at 2:14PM
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2011 Chevrolet Volt – Click above for high-res image gallery

As more and more Car and Truck of the Year awards pour in from a variety of major publications, it's no shock that the 2011 Chevrolet Volt continues to take home top honors as the best car of 2011. Both Motor Trend and Automobile have deemed the Volt their Car of the Year, and General Motors' high-profile EV is even a finalist for the prestigious North American Car of the Year award. (Our readers, however, would apparently rather see that honor go to the 2011 Hyundai Sonata). Thus, it's no surprise that the Volt was just named Car of the Year by The Detroit Free Press.

2011 Ford ExplorerSimilarly, the 2011 Ford Explorer is in the running for North American Truck of the Year, and the Detroit Free Press is honoring it as the best 'truck' of 2011. Freep auto critic Mark Phelan states that in the road ahead, automakers must choose the "right shade of green" for each type of vehicle. Phelan explains:

"The Volt allows most owners to go weeks or months without stopping at a gas pump. The Explorer recasts America's best-selling SUV in a fuel-efficient new form based on the same chassis as the Ford Taurus large sedan."
Interestingly, The Detroit Free Press details its second and third place choices for Car of the Year, with the Hyundai Sonata and Nissan Leaf taking those spots, respectively. These two vehicles are finalists for the North American Car of the Year award, and we're wondering if the Free Press' predictions foreshadow the decisions that the NACTOY judges will make (Note: Phelan is a member of the jury). We'll have the answer to that in just a few weeks, but for now, we tip our hats to the Volt and Explorer on taking home the Detroit Free Press awards.


  • 2011 Chevrolet Volt
  • 2011 Chevrolet Volt front 3/4 view
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2011 Ford Explorer
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  • 2011 Ford Explorer terrain management controller

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  • 2011 Ford Explorer rear cargo area


Photos copyright ©2010 Chris Paukert and Drew Phillips / AOL

[Source: Detroit Free Press]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 23 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      The Volt is an important car, whether you like it or not. I don't know about the Explorer, though...it seems like there weren't other "trucks" to choose from. If you can call an SUV based on the Taurus a "truck"...
        • 4 Years Ago
        Agree. The Volt is very new, very novel. The Explorer is a SUV gone CUV - nothing nearly as groundbreaking there. but a good step forward.
      • 4 Years Ago
      They'll get more future advertising $$$ by picking the Ford. Makes sense for the bottom line
        • 4 Years Ago
        even on AB the Explorer has beaten the new Cherokee in the poll
      • 4 Years Ago
      No way. I would have never guessed that they would have voted for domestic cars.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Sometimes the editor really needs to do another run through..."(Our readers, however, would apparently rather see that honor go to the 2011 Hyundai Sonata)."...uhm...not ALL...lets reword that to SOME because I think the Sonasty err Sonata is a gimmicky, hideous, overated, pile of plastic and metal.

      Good for Ford for grabbing the title but the unpainted plastic at the bottom is cheap and hideous and this is NOT an suv. Jeep should win.
      • 4 Years Ago
      To worthy winners, two thumbs up to the Detroit Free for not accepting one of those Japanese bribes .

      Great to see Volt & Explorer picking up the awards, l wish we could buy the Explorer in the UK. Nice to see the American car companies turning up the heat & quality & now beating the Japanese.

      Well done Ford & GM you are on a roll.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Amazing! Biased Detroit Free Press picked a GM and Ford! Totally unexpected!
      • 4 Years Ago
      I think the Jeep Grand Cherokee should have wonTOTY because its interior is just stunning. It has a choice of a powerful and reliable V-8.It is based on a Mercedes platform. I think that they have wayyyyyyyy too much anti Chrysler bias over there.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Explorer ≠ Truck
      • 4 Years Ago
      Volt is just in time for rising gas prices.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Hmmmmm........ is it a Ford Volt or Chevy Explorer? The front-end views kinda look the same to me. In any case, congrats to both manufacturers!
      • 4 Years Ago
      I dunno. Choosing Leaf versus Volt for COTY is a tough call.

      On the one hand, the Leaf is a much stronger case for getting off of oil. But on the other hand, EVs have been around for a century and were even sold by several companies in the last two decades.

      Perhaps a vehicle like the Volt, which is actually something new and can offer the opportunity to cut oil use to those who cannot afford to live with the limitations of current EVs is the right choice.

      I dont kid myself that the Volt being made by GM and made in Detroit was a very large factor in the decision by the Freep though.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Ford explorer that is a surprise i thought Detroit Free press awards to cars only built in Michigan.
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