Toronto, Ontario – In a press conference at the opening of the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto today, the 2012 Hyundai Elantra sedan was declared the 2012 Canadian Car of the Year (CCOTY) by the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC).

Hyundai won three out of the eleven “Best New” categories when announced in October 2011. All “Best New” category winners are eligible to compete for the overall crown of either the “Canadian Car of the Year” or the “Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year”. The Hyundai Elantra was the winner in the “Best New Small Car over $21,000″ class.

“The all-new Elantra was simply the single most important new vehicle that Hyundai has ever launched,” said Steve Kelleher, President and CEO, Hyundai Auto Canada. “The Elantra competes in Canada’s critical compact segment, so for it to win Canadian Car of the Year is vindication for all the effort Hyundai designers and engineers invested into the project.

AJAC’s Canadian Car of the Year Awards chair, Richard Russell, said: “We are extremely proud of the Canadian Car of the Year program. The goal has always been to provide Canadian consumers with the most accurate, unbiased and useful information possible to assist them in making purchase decisions. This is possible because of the participation of more than 70 experienced automotive reviewers, thorough evaluation procedures and the impartiality assured by secret ballots submitted to and tabulated by the international accounting firm of KPMG.”

Unlike other awards, AJAC’s Canadian Car of the Year awards are not a popularity contest based on the opinions of a few people. AJAC’s winners are determined on a combination of measured facts and subjective evaluations of more than 20 parameters by the journalists – more than 40,000 pieces of data in all. Most importantly, they are based on actual testing of the vehicles – back-to-back; on the same roads and in the same conditions on the same day. The actual testing event takes place in Niagara-on-the-Lake every October and is known in the industry as “TestFest”.

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