Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario – The category winners of the Canadian Car of the Year awards have been announced by the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC). Association members have spent the week test-driving 2012 vehicles to determine the winners.

To be eligible, a vehicle must be all-new or substantially redesigned. All vehicles in a segment are driven by journalists in back-to-back testing, all on the same day and on the same routes.

The category winners will be assessed and the overall Canadian Car of the Year and Utility Vehicle of the Year winners will be announced at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto in February 2012.

Winners in the individual categories are:

Best New Small Car Under $21,000: Hyundai Accent

Best New Small Car Over $21,000:  Hyundai Elantra

Best New Family Car Under $30,000: Kia Optima

Best New Family Car Over $30,000: Kia Optima Hybrid

Best New Luxury Car: Mercedes-Benz C-Class C350 4Matic Sedan

Best New Sports/Performance Car Under $50,000: Hyundai Veloster

Best New Sports/Performance Car Over $50,000: BMW 1 Series M Coupe

Best New Prestige Car Over $75,000: Mercedes-Benz S-Class S350 BlueTEC 4Matic

Best New SUV/CUV Under $35,000: Dodge Journey

Best New SUV/CUV $35,000-$60,000: Volkswagen Touareg TDI

Best New SUV/CUV Over $60,000: BMW X3

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