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Things changed this year when the three finalists listed for the North American Truck of the Year Award were actually crossovers. In fact, the winner of the award was the 2012 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque which by all means hardly defines what we believe a truck is.
And thus a change to the name of the award has come. Starting with next year’s award, the North American Truck of the Year will now become the North American Truck/Utility of the Year. Not only will it now encompass SUVs and crossovers such as the Range Rover Evoque, but the word utility will also help make vehicles like the Ford F-Series Super Duty and the Dodge Ram 2500 HD more acceptable as they have become competent daily drivers.
Just prior to the annual Army-Navy football game in Philadelphia over the weekend, Motor Trend‘s Editor-in-Chief Angus MacKenzie, presented General Motors CEO Dan Akerson with the coveted truck of the year award, in reference to the 2011 Chevy Silverado HD.
It marks the first time since 1979 that both a GM car and truck garnered MT‘s annual vehicle awards (the Chevy Volt was recently named MT‘s car of the year for 2011).
Introduced last summer the 2011 Silverado HD is highlighted by a new, improved chassis, better suspension and steering, plus a new Duramax diesel engine and Allison transmission. Said MT‘s MacKenzie, “on the outside the 2011 Chevrolet Silverado HD appears to have been given a subtle makeover, but it’s what’s under the skin that makes this truck a winner.”
“With more capability and technology than ever before, we believe the Chevrolet Silverado HD sets the bar for heavy-duty trucks,” said Akerson. “It’s a great honor to have such a respected authority as Motor Trend agree.”
Another win for this heavy hitter
In a less than surprising move the Ford F150 was named the North American Truck of the Year. It did, however, face some stiff competition, including a main rival, the Dodge Ram. The other finalist was the the diesel Mercedes ML320 blueTEC. The all new 2009 F150 is a perennial favorite and can claim the top sales numbers for any vehicle in North America for 27 straight years. It is also the top selling pickup for 32 straight years.
The Truck of the Year Award is just one of many prestigious honors the F150 has had after recently being named Motor Trend “Truck of the Year” and “Truck of Texas” by the Texas Auto Writers Association.
For 2009 the F150 has received five star front and side impact ratings from the NHTSA and is a Top Pick for the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS).
The F150 comes standard with a 5.4-liter V8 that gets 12 percent better fuel economy (in certain trims) than the previous renditions.
Official release after the jump: