Ford F-150 wins truck of the year

Posted at 12:10 PM, Jan 12, 2015
and last updated 2015-01-12 12:10:36-05

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — The Ford F-150 won truck of the year honors announced at this year’s Detroit auto show, beating out the midsize Chevrolet Colorado pickup.

The Volkswagen Golf, which already won the Car of the Year honors from Motor Trend, won the same award Monday as well.

The win by Ford is some measure of revenge, as the F-150 had lost the Motor Trend Truck of the Year honors to the Colorado previously. Another Ford SUV, the Lincoln MKC, was the third finalist in the category.

Ford’s newly redesigned F-150 has all-aluminum construction, a more expensive and difficult-to-work-with metal.

The lighter weight aluminum greatly increases the fuel economy of the truck, which will be important for Ford as it and other automakers need to comply with much higher fuel economy rules in coming years. But it’s something of a risky choice in a segment where truck buyers are used to steel trucks.

It’s also not much of a selling point as the nation enjoys its cheapest gas prices since 2009. So Ford’s advertising its increased towing capacity instead, as the lower weight allows for the truck to hold or pull a heavier payload.

The Golf compact car has been lauded for its wide array of available engines, including both diesel and electric power. With prices starting at just $18,000, critics have credited the Golf with near-luxury quality in terms of its interior and overall construction. It’s also an important win for VW, which posted some of the worst U.S. sales of any major automaker in 2014.

The Ford Mustang and the Hyundai Genesis were the two other finalists for car of the year honors.

For car sales, the importance of awards like these has grown. These two awards in particular, chosen by a panel of leading auto critics from multiple media outlets, are among the most influential.