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Volt, LEAF among the finalists for 2011 North American Car and Truck of the Year Awards

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

The Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle is among the nominees for the 2011 Green Car of the Year award.

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

The Nissan Leaf electric vehicle is also one of the nominees for the 2011 Green Car of the Year award.
by Jason Rzucidlo
americajr@americajr.com

 

DETROIT -- The Chevrolet Volt, Hyundai Sonata and Nissan LEAF make up the three finalists for the 2011 North American Car of the Year. The Dodge Durango, Ford Explorer and the Jeep Grand Cherokee are the three finalists for the 2011 North American Truck of the Year. Fifty automotive journalists from the United States and Canada vote on the awards. The judging committee represents newspapers, magazines, websites along with television and radio stations.

John McElroy is the host of the Autoline Daily webcast and is one of the jurors of the awards. He also writes for Autoblog.com and Ward’s AutoWorld.

“We start out with all of the new cars and trucks that come out in the year,” he said. “We widdle that list down in half. Then, we vote on what we think are the top three cars and the top three trucks. We’re going to revote again and decide of those three finalists which is the best car, which is the best truck.”

Many people consider the Chevrolet Volt as a frontrunner to win in the car category since it has recently picked up the Green Car of the Year Award at the L.A. Auto Show, among many other honors.

“It’s very interesting that for the first time ever in the history of this award, we’ve got two electric cars, the Nissan LEAF and the Chevy Volt,“ McElroy added. “Very much a technological change that we’re seeing in the marketplace right now. I think that reflects why we’ve chosen them as two of the three finalists. I think that no question, the Chevy Volt is a frontrunner for the North American Car of the Year Award. It’s not an assured thing. But, no question, that it could be a favorite for the jury members.“

It is a big year for Chrysler, which has two of the finalist spots in the truck category – the Durango and the Grand Cherokee.

“I think Chrysler Corporation is going to be very pleased with our selection of the Truck of the Year finalists,“ the host of Autoline Daily said. “That’s pretty impressive for Chrysler, which was really in trouble a year ago.“

The Hyundai Sonata returns as a finalist in the car category for the second year in a row. A vehicle must be new or substantially changed to be eligible.

“If you look at the impact on the environment that the Volt and LEAF are going to contribute, it’s good, “ McElroy explained. “But these cars are going to sell in very low numbers. The Hyundai Sonata, on the other hand, which can get you up to 40 miles per gallon on the highway, is selling in very big volumes. If you look at the total environmental impact, the Hyundai Sonata is actually going to have a greater benefit for the environment.“

Ford has one finalist spot in the truck category with its Explorer sport utility vehicle. Last year’s winners of the awards included the Ford Fusion Hybrid and the Ford Transit Connect.

The winners of both awards will be announced on Monday, Jan. 10 during the first press day at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit

Jason Rzucidlo reporting in front of the Detroit Athletic Club for AmericaJR.com.

View the complete list of candidates and finalists for the North American Car and Truck of the Year Awards.

 

Logo credit: NACTOY

Click here to visit the official website of the North American Car and Truck of the Year Awards.

 

 

This page was last updated on Thu, December 23, 2010 0:44 AM

 

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