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The competition may have been stiff, but Ford has done it again, capturing its seventh win of the North American Truck of the Year title, this time with the all-new 2011 Ford Explorer. With class-leading fuel economy, a towing capability of 5,000 pounds, available industry-exclusive second-row inflatable safety belts and Intelligent 4WD with an advanced Terrain Management System, as well as a host of other advanced technologies and features, the new Ford Explorer walked away with the prestigious title of 2011 North American Truck of the Year.
The North American Truck of the Year award recognizes vehicles based on factors that include innovation, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction and value for the dollar. A jury of 49 veteran automotive journalists from the United States and Canada vote for the vehicles, which must be "all-new" or "substantially changed" from the previous model to qualify for the award. Last year, the Ford Transit Connect was the winner. The best-selling Ford F-150 pickup won the honor in 2004 and 2009; the fuel-efficient Ford Escape Hybrid won in 2005. This is the 18th year for the Truck of the Year award.
"It's a proud moment for Ford, our employees and our customers to have Explorer named North American Truck of the Year," said Mark Fields, Ford president of The Americas. "Winning this honor for the third consecutive year confirms our One Ford plan is working to deliver vehicles people truly want and value, with industry-leading quality, fuel efficiency, safety and smart technology."
The new Ford Explorer is America's most fuel-efficient full-size SUV, with an EPA-rated 17 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway with the standard V6 engine. Technologies include twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT), a six-speed automatic transmission, electric power-assisted steering (EPAS) and aggressive deceleration fuel shutoff. The new Explorer also offers a wind-skimming aerodynamic shape to maximize fuel economy.
For SUV buyers putting top priority on fuel economy, Explorer this year will offer a 2.0-liter EcoBoost™ I-4 that is anticipated to deliver even greater fuel efficiency.
The all-new Explorer has been reinvented to reflect 21st century customer needs, while honoring the fully capable heritage of previous Explorer models. It is built at Ford's Chicago Assembly Plant and already is on sale at Ford dealerships across North America.