Ford F-150 named Motor Trend Truck of the Year

@PeterDrives December 12, 2011: 12:15 PM ET

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The Ford F-150 has been named Motor Trend magazine's Truck of the Year.

Although it wasn't substantially redesigned for the 2012 model year, Ford did make some significant changes on the truck that have brought important improvements, the magazine said.

Ford reintroduced V6 engines in its full-size truck this year and they've been a hit, accounting for more than half of all F-150s sold. The great majority of those V6s have been Ford's turbocharged EcoBoost engine.

The big selling point for the EcoBoost engine isn't fuel economy, according to Ford (F, Fortune 500), although it is somewhat more efficient than the larger V8 engines. Instead, it's the truck's towing and hauling power when equipped with the EcoBoost engine that attracts customers. The turbocharged V6 gives the truck more towing power than the larger 5.0-liter V8.

"It mastered every task we subjected it to, acing our instrumented tests at the proving grounds and swaying opinions during our real-world road evaluations," Motor Trend editor-in-chief Ed Loh said of the F-150 in an announcement.

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The magazine's truck testers were also impressed with F-150's entertainment technology and interior materials, including available premium leather surfaces, the magazine said.

Motor Trend also noted the F-150's broad range of available versions and features with prices ranging from under $23,000 to over $50,000.

To be considered for the 2012 Truck of the Year award, a truck had to be new or significantly changed from the prior model year. Among the other contenders were the Nissan (NSANY) NV van, Chrysler Group's Dodge Laramie Longhorn and the Toyota (TM) Tacoma.

Last year's winner was General Motors' (GM, Fortune 500) Chevrolet SIlverado Heavy Duty. The F-150 last won the award for the 2009 model year.

Motor Trend magazine gives out three major awards annually. Earlier this year, the Range Rover Evoque was named the magazine's SUV of the Year and the Volkswagen Passat its Car of the Year. To top of page

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