Elantra named Canadian Car of the Year

TORONTO (Ontario) Thursday, February 16, 2012 – In an early morning press conference at the opening of the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto, the Hyundai Elantra was declared the 2012 Canadian Car of the Year (CCOTY) by the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC).

“The all-new Elantra was simply the single most important new vehicle that Hyundai has ever launched,” said Steve Kelleher, President and CEO, Hyundai Auto Canada Corp. “The Elantra competes in Canada’s critical compact segment, so for it to win Canadian Car of the Year is vindication for all the effort Hyundai designers and engineers invested into the project. We wanted to bring Canadians a new take on the compact sedan; one with great style, quality, safety and incredible fuel efficiency. So, we couldn’t be more proud that AJAC agreed it should win Canada’s highest automotive award.”

Hyundai won three out of the eleven “Best New” categories when announced in October 2011. All “Best New” category winners are eligible to compete for the overall crown of either the “Canadian Car of the Year” or the “Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year”. The Hyundai Elantra was also the winner in the “Best New Small Car over $21,000” class.

The Volkswagen Touareg TDI Clean Diesel was named 2012 Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year by AJAC.

“Winning this award is a tremendous honour, said Mr. John White, President of Volkswagen Canada. “The Volkswagen Touareg is extremely capable both on and off road, and surrounds its passengers in comfort and luxury. We are very pleased to be recognized for all of the hard work our engineers and designers have put in.”

The “Best New Design” award went to the Hyundai Veloster.

“It’s a great honour to have the Hyundai Veloster win the Best New Design award from AJAC,” said Steve Kelleher, President and CEO, Hyundai Auto Canada Corp. “Fluidic Sculpture was Hyundai’s first foray into developing its own, distinctive design language and the Veloster was sculpted from the outset to be the most aggressive iteration of that approach. The Veloster is a design halo for the entire Hyundai brand, so to win an award based on the car’s styling is proof that our designers have found success.”

The top three finalists for the 2012 Best New Design award were the Hyundai Veloster, the Jaguar XKR-S, and the Ranger Rover Evoque.

“The intent of the AJAC Best New Design award is to identify and reward the vehicle that exhibits the best balance of form and function”, said Richard Russell, chair of AJAC’s 2012 Canadian Car of the Year awards.

Consumers will have a chance to win a four-year lease of the 2012 Canadian Car of the Year thanks to a “Drive to Win” contest launched today by the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA). The “Drive to Win” contest will run from February 16th to April 30th, 2012. Canadians can register on-site at the Canadian International Auto Show at the Eco-Drive Showcase presented by CAA South Central Ontario or online through the contest portal, www.caadrivetowin.ca.

CAA and AJAC announced a partnership exactly one year ago at the 2011 Auto Show. The two associations joined forces with the goal of working together to provide Canadian consumers with better access to factual, ethical and honest information on automotive topics that matter to them.

“CAA’s proud to partner with AJAC on the Canadian Car of the Year Awards program through the Drive to Win contest,” said Jeff Walker, CAA vice-president of public affairs. “The Canadian Car of the Year program is a great source of accurate, comparative information on vehicles that are new to the market and we are pleased to be drawing additional attention to this valuable initiative.”

For additional “Drive to Win” contest details and to submit your ballot visit www.caadrivetowin.ca.

“We are extremely proud of the Canadian Car of the Year program. The goal has always been to provide Canadian consumers with the most accurate, unbiased and useful information possible to assist them in making purchase decisions. This is possible because of the participation of more than 70 experienced automotive reviewers, thorough evaluation procedures and the impartiality assured by secret ballots submitted to and tabulated by the international accounting firm of KPMG,” said AJAC’s Canadian Car of the Year Awards chair, Richard Russell.

Unlike other awards, AJAC’s Canadian Car of the Year awards are not a popularity contest based on the opinions of a few people. AJAC’s winners are determined on a combination of measured facts and subjective evaluations of more than 20 parameters by the journalists – more than 40,000 pieces of data in all. Most importantly, they are based on actual testing of the vehicles – back-to-back; on the same roads and in the same conditions on the same day. The actual testing event takes place in Niagara-on-the-Lake every October and is known in the industry as “TestFest.” Shell Canada is the official fuel supplier of the event.

Photos from today’s award announcements, the category winners’ press conference, and the TestFest evaluation event, are available for print and broadcast media under Canadian Car of the Year.. Photo Gallery… on the AJAC web site.

B-roll footage can be downloaded from www.wheelsonedge.com/ajac

In addition, our AJAC journalists who evaluated the brand new models at TestFest are available across Canada for interviews to talk about the procedures, vote results and comparative data. Media are invited to visit the AJAC web site and log-in under “Ask An AJAC Expert,” then choose the “Media” link to access interview information once validation has occurred.

For more information on the 2012 Canadian Car of the Year Awards, either visit our AJAC web site at www.ajac.ca, call the AJAC office at 1.705.924.3444, or send us an email: beth@ajac.ca.

  2 comments for “Elantra named Canadian Car of the Year

  1. Saturday, February 18 th, 2012 at 11:12 PM

    Nah, I thought the Optima was going to win.

  2. Nigel
    Saturday, February 18 th, 2012 at 5:28 PM

    You called it.
    I will check it out at the Auto Show.

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