Car of the Year Category Winners

Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON – Seventy of Canada’s top automotive journalists spent this week in the picturesque tourist town of Niagara-on-the-Lake; but not for the scenery or the wine tasting. Journalist members of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) were there for the express purpose of determining the ‘Best New’ cars and SUV/CUVs in 11 different vehicle categories, as part of AJAC’s annual Canadian Car of the Year Awards program.

The four days of intensive, back-to-back testing and evaluation are known in the automotive industry as “TestFest.” The results of the journalists’ test-drive evaluations were made known yesterday during a press conference wherein the category winners were announced. The press conference was held at the Niagara Drive Centre, located at the Niagara District Airport where “TestFest” is staged each year.

The winners are:
BEST NEW SMALL CAR (under $21k) Ford Fiesta
BEST NEW SMALL CAR (over $21k) Chevrolet Cruze
BEST NEW FAMILY CAR (under $30k) Volkswagen Jetta TDI Clean Diesel
BEST NEW FAMILY CAR (over $30k) Buick Regal
BEST NEW LUXURY CAR (over $50k) BMW 5 Series Sedan
BEST NEW PRESTIGE CAR (over $75k) Porsche 911 Turbo S
BEST NEW SUV/CUV (under $35k) Hyundai Tucson
BEST NEW SUV/CUV ($35k-$50k) Ford Edge
BEST NEW SUV/CUV (over $50k) Volkswagen Touareg

Full press release after the jump.

The results were compiled by the international accounting firm KPMG and kept confidential even from AJAC until the morning’s press conference. They were determined from more than 40,000 individual data points established in the testing of 144 different vehicles.

The purpose of the AJAC awards is to provide consumers with a valuable resource they can use when researching the purchase of a new vehicle – one that includes a broad range of comparative information on vehicles that are new to the market. That information includes not just specifications and features but actual performance data and subjective ratings on up to 23 different characteristics – from interior roominess and comfort to ride quality and handling ability.

Our journalists’ vote results – including all of the comparative test data amassed this week – are on our web site for use as a consumer resource buying guide. Consumers that want to compare a Ford Fiesta to a Mazda2 or a Volkswagen Jetta or even a Jeep Grand Cherokee with a Honda Accord Crosstour need look no further than the AJAC website. Navigate to Canadian Car of the Year Awards > Results. Photos from the TestFest evaluation program and press conference are available on the AJAC web site as well on the various social networking sites.

The 11 category winners listed above now go on to compete for the honour of becoming the 2011 Canadian Car of the Year or the 2011 Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year. These overall winners will be announced on February 17th, 2011, at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto, ON. Award winners for Best New Design and Best New Technology, presented by Shell Canada, will also be announced at that time.

Still looking to buy a 2010, 2009, or even an older vehicle? AJAC archives the comparative test data and vote results from previous years on its web site. Check it out: > Vehicle Comparisons

Congratulations to the finalists! May the best car and crossover win!