Coming soon: 2010 Canadian Car of the Year!

Today, the team lists were released for the upcoming annual AJAC Test Fest event in Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario on October 26-30th, 2009.

Heading into its 22nd edition, this is where the eventual Canadian cars and trucks are put through rigorous back-to-back-to-back testing–on and off road–by members of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada.

This will be my seventh Test Fest, and I’m really excited to be getting down and dirty with a bevy of new cars in and around the Ste. Catharines airport, which will be hosting us the third straight year, in NOTL.

Who wouldn’t be excited? I mean, I’ll be responsible for test driving the new SPORTS PERFORMANCE models (under $50k), LUXURY CARS (over $50k) and the CONVERTIBLES. Maybe one of them will become the 2010 Canadian Car of the Year (CCOTY).

For the first time in many years, Porsche will enter some cars into the competition. Personally, I can’t wait to drive the new Panamera S, which I got to check out briefly at a Cayenne diesel and hybrid prototype preview event in Detroit not long ago.

Also on the to-do list are the Audi R8 5.2, with its V8 FSI engine and quattro drive, and the new 370Z Roadster. I drove the hardtop version earlier this year at the Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch in Pahrump, Nevada and boy was that fun!!! Got some great snaps too! I really hope Nissan brings along a Nismo model just for play because, well, I love tuned Zeds! That’s Zees for you Americans. ;P


SPORTS PERFORMANCE (under $50k): Chevrolet Camaro, Ford Taurus SHO, Hyundai Genesis Coupe, Mazdaspeed3, Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback Ralliart, Volkswagen Golf GTI

SPORTS PERFORMANCE (over $50k): Audi S4, Jaguar XFR, Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe

CONVERTIBLES: Audi A5 Cabriolet, BMW Z4 Roadster, Nissan 370Z Roadster, Lexus IS Convertible

LUXURY CAR (over $50k): BMW 335d Sedan, Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon, Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sedan, Lexus HS250h

PRESTIGE (over $75k): Audi R8 5.2, BMW 7 Series Sedan, Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid, Porsche Panamera

SMALL CAR (under $21k): Hyundai Elantra Touring, Kia Forte Koup, Mazda3

SMALL CAR (over $21k): Honda Insight, Kia Forte, Kia Soul, Mazda3 Sport, Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback, Nissan Cube, Volkswagen Golf

FAMILY CAR (under $30k): Ford Fusion, Subaru Legacy Sedan, Toyota Prius, Volkswagen Golf Wagon

FAMILY CAR (over $30k): Buick Allure, Ford Fusion Hybrid, Ford Taurus

SUV / CUV (under $35k): Chevrolet Equinox, Subaru Outback, Toyota Venza

SUV / CUV ($35k-$60k): Acura ZDX, Audi Q5, GMC Terrain, Mercedes-Benz GLK350 4MATIC, Lexus RX350, Volkswagen Touareg TDI Clean Diesel, Volvo XC60

SUV / CUV (over $60k): Acura MDX, Audi Q7, Lincoln MKT, Cadillac SRX, Lexus RX450h

More info on the Canadian Car of the Year competition can be found on AJAC’s website. And, if you’re thinking about buying a new vehicle, there’s a wealth of free new car buying info and actual testing results from past, present and future vehicles there too. Go visit.