By this time next week, a number of your favourite contributors will have cast ballots to name the best 2016 model-year cars, crossovers, and trucks in a variety of categories, en route to choosing two overall winners: Canadian Car of the Year, and Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year.

It may not be as important a task as electing a new federal government, but it’s one your favourite contributors take very seriously, and we’ll be taking it to a new venue this year: the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) committee behind the Canadian Car of the Year contest has been hard at work for the past 12 months to move “Testfest” from the Niagara region of southern Ontario to the booming metropolis of Ajax, ON, a bedroom community on the eastern fringes of greater Toronto.

The need for a new home base came about thanks to the lack of a proper performance testing facility in Niagara. Now, however, we’ve got one we’d call ideal: all high-speed evaluations will be done at Bowmanville, Ontario’s Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (CTMP), the Track Formerly Known as Mosport.

Beyond the new digs, the process remains the same. Over four days next week, we’ll do back-to-back drives of vehicles split into classes based on price and body type to choose the best of each group. (Check out last year’s category winners here.)

For now, here’s a rundown of the vehicles competing for this year’s top prizes, and predictions from nine contributors and editors for which ones will finish on top in each of nine categories.

No matter whether our picks end up being conservative, liberal, or green, you can count on the end result to be democratic.

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