By James Bergeron

Photo Gallery:
2010 Testfest Gallery

Day 1:

Testfest photo by Greg Wilson
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Testfest photo by Greg Wilson

This week I am not driving just one car, I am going to sample at least 14 vehicles and perhaps even more, as I attend my first ever Testfest, in Niagara-on-the-lake Ontario. What is Testfest exactly? To summarize quickly: it is the one week every year where all AJAC (Automobile Journalists Association of Canada) members who do regular test drives congregate and test every new or substantially redesigned vehicle back-to-back, in order to name one the Canadian Car of The Year.

This is my first time attending the event, so you will get to learn along with me about the process and some of the vehicles competing here in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Stock photo from 2008 Testfest
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There is quite a large list of vehicles to test (53, to be exact) in 12 categories. Obviously, there just is not enough time for everyone to test every car, so we have been assigned vehicles and categories which we must evaluate before 5pm on Wednesday. Once we have tested all of our assigned vehicles, we are free to test other cars if we desire and if time permits.

I am assigned to Prestige (over $75k) which includes: Audi R8 5.2FSI, BMW 750i, Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid and the Porsche Panamera. Not a bad list of dream cars, if I do say so myself. I am also responsible for Sports/Performance (under $50k) which includes: Chevrolet Camaro, Ford Taurus SHO, Hyundai Genesis Coupe, Mazdaspeed3, Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback Ralliart and the Volkswagen Golf GTI.

Last, but not least, I’ll need to tackle Convertibles on a sunny day. This category includes: Audi A5 Cabriolet, BMW Z4 Roadster, Lexus IS350C and the Nissan 370Z Roadster.

The full list of eligible vehicles is available on AJAC’s website.

Visit this blog daily for updates — this should be an exciting week!

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