And the 2011 American Truck of the Year finalist are…


What do all three of these SUVs have in common?

– the Dodge Durango

– the Ford Explorer

– and the Jeep Grand Cherokee

If you said they are all unibody crossovers (CUVs) instead of SUV’s you’d be correct, but more importantly they have all been selected as finalist for the prestigious 2011 North American Truck of the Year award.

FYI: The winner will be announced next month at the Detroit Auto Show.

We’ve been lucky enough to drive all three of these exceptional new American family haulers. Check out our first drive video reviews below.

The American SUV is back.

First came the all new redesigned Jeep Grand Cherokee, and now the 2011 Ford Explorer has also been completely redesigned to make it more fuel efficient, comfortable, and much more civilized.

But unlike the old Explorer the new 2011 model is now based on a car-like chassis instead of a truck like body on frame design.

So the question that you might be asking is just how off-road worthy is the new Explorer?

Ford let us test drive the 2011 Explorer at their Michigan Proving Grounds with one small but important caveat. We could take the car on the road and bash it off road, but we can’t provide any driving impressions until the 2011 Explorer is official launched in December…but that doesn’t mean we can’t show you how it drives.

The 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland is one of the most luxurious and most expensive Jeeps ever made.

It has about every modern creature comfort plus some new technology firsts for the Jeep Grand Cherokee like an adjustable air suspension and of course independent rear suspension.

This time we had a chance to drive the top of the line 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland.

At almost 45K the Overland bumps up against some pretty tough company….such as the highly popular Lexus crossover.

So is it worth the big bucks?

It has been two years since Dodge sold a new Durango, but for 2011 the seven person classic American SUV is back….but this time with the help of Italy’s Fiat.  In fact, the new Durango should hit your local Dodge dealership just in time for Christmas.

And here’s perhaps the biggest surprise, unlike the old Durango, the new Durango is all grown up and ready to take on the big boys including Ford’s new an up coming Explorer.

Built on the same, but lengthened chassis, as the new Jeep Grand Cherokee…the new Durango is now a better engineered, and much more refined family hauler.

What’s especially surprising is the exceptional level of interior fit and finish.

Where the old Durango was basic and crude, the new Durango is sophisticated and svelte.

But will it still tow your horse trailer, camper or boat?

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