It wasn’t so long ago that Ford was struggling to save its reputation, thanks to Explorer owners who didn’t maintain their vehicles. How things change over the years!
Earlier this week, the all-new 2011 Ford Explorer was named 2011 North American Truck of the Year by an independent panel of judges.
Voted favorite, as compared to the new Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango, the Ford Explorer was touted award winner by 49 automotive journalists from the United States and Canada representing both traditional and new-media outlets.
More photos and Ford press release follow the break.
Ford press release
DETROIT, Jan. 10, 2011 – The 2011 Ford Explorer – America’s most fuel-efficient full-size SUV – was named North American Truck of the Year today by an international panel of journalists.
The all-new Ford Explorer edged out finalists including the Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee to win the North American Truck of the Year award, which was presented at the start of the North American International Auto Show.
“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 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.
The win by Explorer marks the seventh time a Ford has been North American Truck of the Year, with Ford dominating in the truck category. Last year, 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.
Ford Explorer fully reinvented
Ford revealed the all-new Ford Explorer in July, showcasing the SUV’s combination of improved driving dynamics, available convenience technology, towing capability up to 5,000 pounds and available Intelligent 4WD with the Terrain Management System.
The standard 3.5-liter V6 engine enables class-leading highway fuel economy. Featuring technologies such as twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT), a six-speed automatic transmission, electric power-assisted steering (EPAS) and aggressive deceleration fuel shutoff, 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.