DETROIT -- The Chevrolet Volt sedan and Ford Explorer crossover were named 2011 North American Car of the Year and North American Truck of the Year today by a panel of automotive journalists.
The Volt, Nissan Leaf and Hyundai Sonata were finalists for 2011 North American Car of the Year, while the Explorer, Jeep Grand Cherokee, and Dodge Durango were North American Truck of the Year finalists.
The awards are judged by 49 automotive journalists from the United States and Canada -- representing magazines, newspapers, Web sites, television and radio.
The criteria used to judge the winners include innovation, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction and value for the dollar.
The Volt is an electric car with an internal combustion engine that generates electricity after the battery is nearly depleted, and the Leaf is an all-electric car. Both models went on sale in December. The Sonata is also available with a hybrid powertrain.
The new Explorer is a crossover based on a car platform, and the Grand Cherokee and Durango are SUVs.