Presented at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the North American Truck of the Year is considered the most prestigious product in the auto industry because the journalists who vote on it are completely independent of one another, working as freelancers or staff writers representing dozens of competing media outlets in the U.S. and Canada.
A jury of 49 automotive journalists awarded the North American Truck of the Year title through a series of votes for vehicles that were new or substantially changed for the 2011 model year. When it came down to the three finalists, the Explorer won by a wide margin. The Explorer garnered 253 points, leaving the Jeep Grand Cherokee with 138 points, and the Dodge Durango 99. Each of the 49 jurors cast 10 points, and they can be divided up.
All-new for 2011, the Ford Explorer is built on a unit-body platform, like that of a car. Available with a new 3.5-liter V6 or a new, fuel-efficient Ecoboost four-cylinder engine, the 2011 Explorer delivers excellent fuel economy for its class. The V6 achieved an EPA rating of 17/25 mpg City/Highway. A big cargo capacity and roomy back seats make the Explorer an excellent choice among midsize SUVs.