Niagara on the Lake, ON – It is that time of year again.  Time for the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada’s (AJAC) annual ‘TestFest’ to determine the Canadian Car of the Year.

The purpose of the Canadian Car of the Year Awards (CCOTY) program, created by journalist members of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), is to provide consumers with sound, comparative information on vehicles that are new to the market.

Every year the top automotive journalists from all across Canada gather for a four-day new vehicle evaluation of over 180 models.

Their purpose? To select the best new vehicles in various categories as well as an overall Car of the Year and Utility Vehicle of the Year. A “Best New Technology” award and the “Best New Design” award are also chosen.

The evaluation is based on “real-world” back-to-back testing so that the results have relevance for consumers.

In other words, the rigorous testing program includes “real world” driving on public roads – exactly where consumers drive – so that the test, and vote, results are relevant to potential car and truck buyers.

Every member of a test team compares each vehicle in its class, back-to-back, on the same roads, under the same conditions to ensure objective evaluation.

Team members use a detailed rating form, comprising 21 separate evaluation parameters that include acceleration, braking, vehicle dynamics, maneuverability, even off-road capability, where applicable. Each parameter is rated using a prescribed 0 – 10 rating scale.

Every detail, from safety features to cargo capacity, is thoroughly scrutinized, discussed, and individually rated by secret ballot.

Those ballots are then tabulated by the international accounting firm KPMG. The results are kept confidential — even from AJAC — until the awards press conferences wherein the category and overall winners are announced.

As soon as the winners are declared, the comparative test data, and vote results are posted to the AJAC web site for use by consumers as a resource buying guide.   TestFest will run from October 22-26, 2012.

This year’s list of entrants for the 2013 Canadian Car of the Year Awards are as follows.  Which vehicles do you think will win?


1.     Ford Focus EV
2.     Mitsubishi i-MiEV



1.     Chevrolet Spark
2.     Dodge Dart
3.     Kia Rio LX
4.     Mazda3 Skyactiv (Sedan)
5.     Nissan Sentra
6.     Toyota Prius c



1.     Chevrolet Sonic LTZ 5-dr Hatch
2.     Ford CMAX Hybrid
3.     Hyundai Elantra GT
4.     Mazda3 Sport Skyactiv (Hatchback)
5.     Volkswagen Beetle


FAMILY CAR under $30K

1.     Chevrolet Malibu Eco
2.     Ford Fusion
3.     Honda Accord Sedan
4.     Mitsubishi Lancer AWC
5.     Nissan Altima



1.     Chevrolet Malibu
2.     Ford Fusion Hybrid
3.     Mercedes-Benz B-250
4.     Toyota Prius PHV (Plug-in)


1.     Acura ILX
2.     BMW 3-Series
3.     Buick Verano
4.     Cadillac ATS
5.     Lexus ES350
6.     Lexus GS



1.     Chevrolet Sonic RS 5-door
2.     Fiat Abarth
3.     Ford Focus ST
4.     Honda Accord Coupe
5.     Hyundai Genesis Coupe
6.     Hyundai Veloster Turbo
7.     MINI Roadster
8.     Scion FR-S
9.     Subaru BRZ
10.    Volkswagen Golf R



1.     Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
2.     Ford Shelby Mustang
3.     Mercedes-Benz SLK 55
4.     Porsche Boxster



1.    BMW M5
2.    Chevrolet Corvette 427
3.    Porsche 911 Carrera S
4.    Mercedes-Benz SL 550


SUV – CUV under $35K

1.     Chevrolet Trax
2.     Ford Escape 1.6 L EcoBoost
3.     Honda CR-V
4.     Hyundai Santa Fe Sport
5.     Mazda CX-5
6.     Subaru XV Crosstrek


SUV – CUV $35K – $60K

1.     Acura RDX
2.     Chevrolet Traverse
3.     Ford Escape 2.0 L
4.     GMC Terrain Denali
5.     Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.0T
6.     Infiniti JX
7.     Lexus RX350
8.     Nissan Pathfinder

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