Car of the Year category winners announced

Mazda lands a triple; Kia and GM take two each

December 3, 2013
by Emily Atkins

Toronto, ON—The Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) announced its Canadian Car of the Year category winners for 2014 today.

Mazda is a triple winner with the Mazda3  Sport, Mazda3 and the Mazda6 in the Small Cars over $21k, Small Cars under $21k and Family Cars over $30k categories respectively.

In Family Cars under $30k, the Kia Soul was victorious.

The winner of the Best New Luxury Car (over $50k) is the Infiniti Q50 Hybrid.

Best New Luxury Car (under $50k) is the Lexus IS 350RWD.

In the Sports Performance category, the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray walks away as the winner of the Best New Sports/Performance (over $50k).

Mercedes-Benz S Class walks away with the award for Best New Prestige Car (over $75k).

Winner of the Best New SUV/CUV (under $35k) is the Jeep Cherokee.

Best New SUV/CUV ($35k to $60k) winner the Kia Sorento.

The final SUV/CUV winner is the Acura MDX for the (over $60k) category.

The Best New Pickup is the GMC Sierra.

The finalists will now all vie for the title of overall Canadian Car of the Year. The winner will be announced at the Canadian International Auto Show in February.

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

Three AJAC surveys have shown that consumers are powerfully influenced by a Canadian Car of the Year award win. In 1999, the influence on buyers of the Canadian Car of the Year was 45%. In 2002, that percentage rose to 47.5%. While in 2005, the survey confirmed an influence of 58.4%.