The Automobile Journalists Association of Canada has announced the nine category winners in its Canadian Car of the Year competition and proved that most of us involved in running this site should avoid betting money on things, ever.
Here are the cars that won, and the Autos.ca contributors who were right (and wrong) in their predictions. (We’ve listed the also-ran cars in brackets.)
Honda’s all-new Civic took the small car category, setting me (Chris Chase), Paul Williams, Jeff Wilson, Greg Wilson, and Michael Bettencourt off to a good start. (Scion iM, Smart Fortwo, Toyota Yaris sedan, Volkswagen Jetta 1.4 TSI)
In the family car group, the Volkswagen Golf Sportwagon was the winner, and made winners out of Jonathan Yarkony, Justin Pritchard, Tom Sedens, Greg, and Michael. (Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, Chevrolet Volt)
Volkswagen bagged its second category win in the sports/performance (under $50,000) crowd, with its Golf R hot hatch. Jacob Black, Peter Bleakney, Paul, Greg, and Jonathan all got this one right. The MX-5 is a fantastic car, but its tiny interior and weird ergonomics didn’t stand a chance against the Golf R’s power, grip, and practicality. (Chevrolet Camaro, Hyundai Veloster Turbo Rallye, Mazda MX-5, Mini John Cooper Works)
The Mercedes-AMG C 63 S scored that German company its first of two category wins in the sports/performance (over $50,000) group; just two of us–Paul and Greg–were on the money, here. (Cadillac ATS-V, Chevrolet Corvette ZO6, Ford Shelby GT350, Lexus RC 350 AWD)
Benz’ second win came courtesy of the AMG GT-S coupe, in the prestige/performance category. Michael, Tom, Jeff, and Jonathan rule, leaving the rest of us to drool over this fantastic sports car. Seriously, that thing is sexy as hell. (Cadillac CTS-V, Lexus RC F, Porsche Cayman GT4)
The Mazda CX-3 took the honours in the SUV/CUV (under $35,000) bracket; Michael, Paul, and I nailed this one. After driving these cars, I switched my allegiance to the HR-V, thinking its spacious interior would give it the edge, but the CX-3’s sharper drive was the decider. (Fiat 500X, Honda HR-V, Jeep Renegade, Mitsubishi Outlander)
Among SUV/CUVs priced between $35,000 and $60,000, the Kia Sorento came out on top. Embarrassingly, none of us got this one right; most of us had thrown our votes to the Honda Pilot. As good as the Pilot is, the Sorento is a near-equal in most respects, and is a seriously strong value. (Hyundai Tucson, BMW X1, Lexus NX 200t, Ford Edge, Honda Pilot, Hyundai Tucson FCEV)
Conversely, nearly all of us were right in guessing the Volvo XC90 would win SUV/CUV (over $60,000) laurels. Only Greg and Paul voted otherwise. Thing is, I was left underwhelmed after driving the Volvo; I thought the Lincoln represented itself very well in this upscale crowd. (Lincoln MKX, Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe, Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid)
Finally, many of us apparently know very little about what makes a good pickup truck: Greg and Michael were the only ones who predicted the Chevrolet Silverado’s win. As popular as mid-size trucks appear to be right now, full-sizers still present a stronger case for cash versus capability. (GMC Canyon diesel, Toyota Tacoma)
For the record, Michael Bettencourt guessed right in six of nine categories, Greg Wilson nailed five, and Jonathan Yarkony and Paul Williams each picked four winners. The rest of us hope you’re as bad at math as we are picking winners.