Chevrolet Volt, Ford Explorer named Detroit Free Press Car and Truck of the Year

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.

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2011 Ford Explorer
2011 Ford Explorer
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Photos copyright ©2010 Chris Paukert and Drew Phillips / AOL

[Source: Detroit Free Press]

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