MELBOURNE, Australia — Ford Australia has captured four major prizes at the highly respected 2011 Drive Car of the Year Awards, further highlighting Ford's commitment to delivering a whole range of vehicles which customers want and value.
Ford won the Best Small Car for the Ford Focus Trend hatch, the Best Family Car for the Ford Mondeo Zetec EcoBoost, the Best SUV Over $40,000 for the Ford Territory TS TDCi rear-wheel drive, and the 2011 Drive Safety Innovation Award for the Ranger pickup.
“We’re honoured to have such a cross-section of winners in what are very hotly contested market segments,” said Ford Australia President and CEO Bob Graziano. “It’s clear that the style, safety and quality of our vehicles are resonating with Australian car buyers.”
Although Ford is a relative newcomer to the competitive small car segment, the Ford Focus Trend hatch's competent road manners impressed Drive judges.
“The sharp-looking Ford hatch won plenty of admirers with its modern cabin and great balance between secure road holding and a comfortable ride,” Drive said.
“All-in-all the consensus was that the new Focus was a big step ahead of the old model, which wasn’t a bad thing to begin with.”
The Mondeo Zetec EcoBoost managed high praise, with Drive judges saying “as a zero-hassle set of family wheels it really shines. The new turbocharged petrol engine is smooth and has loads of useable performance."
Drive pitched the SZ Territory TS TDCi RWD up against some formidable European competition in the Best SUV Over $40,000 category.
But more than one judge declared the big Ford’s interior “the cleverest layout in any local car. Ever."
“And it’s hard to argue with dozens of storage and configuration alternatives as well as the option of seven seats.”
The Ranger won the Drive Safety Innovation Award for its comprehensive safety package, including a 5-star safety rating in the Australasian New Car Assessment Program.
The All-New Ranger employs a comprehensive safety arsenal, including innovative active safety and driver assistance technologies to help drivers avoid accidents. A key standard feature is the Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) that uses advanced sensors to constantly monitor the vehicle’s behaviour and assist stability and control.