Chevrolet Volt given top accolade

The part-electric Volt scooped the accolade, leaving Nissan's electric vehicle Leaf as well as the Hyundai Sonata behind in the race.

The Volt, which can operate electrically for 40 miles, after which a backup petrol engine does the rest of the running, was hand picked as the winner by 49 car journalists spread across the USA and Canada.

After testing its innovation, safety, value, driver satisfaction, design and handling, the experts crowned theChevrolet car at the Detroit auto show.

This is not the first honour for the Volt, which won the title of Green Car of the Year at the Los Angeles Auto Show, as well as 2011 car of the year by Motor Trend and Automobile Magazine, both held in November.

The car, which General Motor has said "represents the soul" of the new GM, hit selected markets for a price of $40,280 (£26,000) in December.

Copyright © Press Association 2011