The Montreal Internationl Auto Show kickstarted this morning with media day, before opening up its doors to an audience of enthusiasts and car shoppers as of tomorrow. This is the occasion for manufacturers to premiere their newest models and concepts in front of a Canadian audience. The Automotive Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) also takes the Montreal stage to announce their technology of the year winners as well as name their Car and Truck/Utility of the year finalists.

For 2016, the title of technological innovation has been awarded to Toyota’s 3.5L V6 Atkinson-cycle engine, introduced in the new Tacoma. You will be surprised to know that the Atkinson cycle technology can also be found under the hood of the least truck-like vehicle from the Toyota lineup – the Prius. The Atkinson cycle improves fuel economy by allowing the powertrain to use all the energy of each cylinder by keeping the intake valve open longer. What’s new with the Tacoma is the combination with direct fuel injection, which should result in a 15% improvement in fuel economy and a 14% increase in power.

On the safety side of things, GM received the award for the 2016 safety technology of the year with their rear camera mirror, available in the 2016 Cadillac CT6. This technology projects the feed from a rear-view camera directly into the rear-view mirror, giving the driver a 60° angle view from the back of the vehicle.

As for the Car and Truck/Utility of the Year awards, the final contenders were named during the AJAC’s presentation as well. The 2016 Car of the Year finalists are:
Honda Civic
Volkswagen Golf Sportwagon
Volkswagen Golf R

As for the Truck/Utility of the year category, the finalists are:
Mazda CX-3
Kia Sorento
Volvo XC90

The winners in each category will be crowned at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto next month. Out of the six finalists, which two are your personal picks?

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