The annual competition tests new automotive models in one of the most demanding environments—a New England winter—to determine the best of the new crop. Vehicles are selected in 13 price and segment categories but only one vehicle is chosen as the best of the best and named the Official Winter Vehicle of New England. This year’s winner was the Audi A3.
In all, three Fords have been awarded the coveted Official Winter Vehicle of New England: The Freestyle in 2005; the F-150 in 2004; and the Explorer in 2002. A total of 15 Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles have been chosen best in their class since the competition began in 1998.
"The safety and technological improvements the Explorer received in its 2006 redesign has made it the best Explorer ever," said Glenn Burke, Explorer marketing manager. "I am glad the vehicle is getting the proper recognition it deserves, especially from the tough and knowledgeable critics that make up NEMPA."
According to Gerry Miles, NEMPA President, “Explorer’s new suspension setup gives it a totally new feel and ride that impressed everyone who drove it.” He adds, “Ford found a way to raise the bar along with the increased competition to the market segment that it arguably created and defined with the first Explorer.”
Ford Five Hundred
The Ford Hundred joins its stablemate, the Mercury Montego, last year’s winner in the All Weather Sedan, $25,000 - $30,000 category, to give back to back victories. “The Five Hundred feels like a dark horse that’s not appreciated to its fullest until it’s driven,” Miles said. “And the votes were tallied before it received its five-star crash rating that ought to raise its visibility and give it the seat of the pants respect it deserves.”