2011 Canadian Car of the Year Competition

The 2011 Canadian Car of the Year competition is a few weeks away and I’m eager to get back to Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario for some hands-on road and track-testing.

As a voting member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada, I get to spend a week driving a slew of Canada’s newest vehicles back-to-back to try and pick the ‘Best of’ in several categories.

The provisional list of eligible vehicles for the 23rd edition of AJAC’s TestFest is 48 strong in 11 different categories. The full list can be found at the end of this post, but I’m simply salivating over the three categories I’ve been assigned to rate.

This year, my categories are ‘Luxury cars over $50k,’ ‘Prestige cars over $75k’ and ‘Sports Performance vehicles over $50K.’ Lucky me, right? I won’t lie, so you bet!

I had some seat time in the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG earlier this year, but Audi’s PR rep didn’t bother to return my calls when inquiring about the Audi R8 Spyder’s availability. I can only assume it was fully-booked. That said, I’m going to try and drive the wheels off of it on the airport runway test track soon enough along with the almighty Porsche 911 Turbo S, BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo and Jaguar XJ Supercharged.

Yum yum!

TestFest runs from October 25th to the 29th and rest assured, I’ll be busy as ever. Hopefully the weather will be more kind this year (unlike last year) as the facility is still undergoing some major renovations that will make the task of picking the best of the best that much more difficult.

AJAC will host the category winners’ press conference at 10:00 am on Friday, October 29. Then, the voting journalists will head back out to test-drive the category winners to cast a vote for the overall Car of the Year, Utility Vehicle of the Year and Best New Design.

For more info on AJAC’s 2011 Canadian Car of the Year awards, visit the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada’s website.

2011 Canadian Car of the Year Awards

Provisional List of Eligible Vehicles

Small Car (under $21k)
Ford Fiesta
Scion xD
Scion xB (Base)
Volkswagen Jetta

Small Car (over $21k)
Chevrolet Cruze
Honda CR-Z
Kia Forte 5
Nissan Juke
Scion tC

Family Car (under $30k)
Hyundai Sonata Limited
Suzuki Kizashi
Volkswagen Jetta TDI Clean Diesel

Family Car (over $30k)
Buick Regal
Mercedes-Benz E-Class Wagon
Toyota Avalon

Luxury Car (over $50k)
Audi A8
BMW 5 Series Sedan
Cadillac CTS Coupe
Hyundai Equus
Infiniti M
Lexus IS350
Mercedes-Benz E350 BlueTEC Sedan
Volvo S60

Prestige (over $75k)
Audi R8 Spyder
BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo
Jaguar XJ Supercharged
Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG
Porsche 911 Turbo S

Sports – Performance (over $50k)
Cadillac CTS-V Coupe
Ford Mustang Shelby
Mercedes-Benz E550 Cabriolet

Honda Odyssey
Toyota Sienna

SUV – CUV (under $35k)
Hyundai Tucson
Kia Sportage
Mitsubishi New Compact Crossover

SUV – CUV (under $50k)
Ford Edge
Honda Accord Crosstour
Hyundai Santa Fe
Jeep Grand Cherokee
Kia Sorento
Toyota 4Runner
Toyota Highlander Hybrid

SUV – CUV (over $50k)
Ford Lincoln MKX
Mercedes-Benz R350 BlueTEC
Porsche Cayenne
Volkswagen Touareg

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