The Ford Transit Connect has been named North American Truck of the Year, beating out the other two finalists, the Chevrolet Equinox and the Subaru Outback.
The announcement kicked off the festivities at the 2010 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The Ford Transit Connect was selected by a panel of 49 journalists from the United States and Canada.
Designed to fill the needs of small businesses owners and entrepreneurs, in North American markets, the Ford Transit Connect is powered by a 2.0L inline-four engine with four-speed automatic transmission (a 1.8L diesel version with five-speed manual is offered in other markets). Ford claims the Transit Connect gets double the fuel economy of full-sized vans with 22 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.
The Ford Transit Connect has a cargo payload of 1,600 lb. and features an in-dash computer with high-speed Internet, Tool Link radio-frequency identification tracking and Crew Chief fleet tracking and diagnostic system.
Ford trucks have now won the award six times, most recently in 2009 with the Ford F-150. The Ford Fusion Hybrid also won North American Car of the Year, marking the third time a manufacturer swept both awards in a single year.
"Winning both of these prestigious awards is confirmation that the ONE Ford plan is working, delivering industry-leading products for our customers," said Mark Fields, president of The Americas.
Domestic automakers have now won North American Truck of the Year 11 times in 17 years.
More: 2010 Detroit Auto Show Coverage