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A double win for Toyota at AJAC's Green Car of the Year

In its third annual Automobile Journalists Association of Canada's (AJAC) Canadian Green Car of the Year awards, Toyota pulled a rare clean sweep at a press conference at the 2017 Vancouver International Auto Show.

The Toyota Prius with Technology Package took top honours as the 2017 Canadian Green Car of the Year, besting the 2017 Kia Optima HEV and the 2017 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid.

The 2017 Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year award went to the 2017 Toyota Rav4 Hybrid taking victory over the other two finalists, the 2017 Subaru Forester and 2017 Mazda CX-9.

“Toyota is committed to maintaining its leadership position in designing, engineering and building environmentally-advanced vehicles that meet the many demands of today’s drivers,” said Cyril Dimitris, Vice-President, Toyota Canada Inc.

This was the second year that AJAC split the car and utility categories up. For 2016, the winners were the Chevrolet Volt and the Mazda CX-3; while in its inaugural year, the sole winner was the Kia Soul EV.

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Volt, CX-3 win AJAC Canadian Green Cars of the Year

The 2016 Chevrolet Volt and 2016 Mazda CX-3 have been named Automobile Journalist Association of Canada's (AJAC) Canadian Green Car and Canadian Green Utility Vehicle of the Year.

The award announcements took place during the opening ceremonies at the 2016 Vancouver International Auto Show. For 2016, AJAC added a utility category to separate its sedans from CUVs/SUVs.

The other finalists for the awards were the Honda Civic and Hyundai Sonata Hybrid for the car category, while the Honda HR-V and the Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) fell short in the utility grouping.

The Chevrolet Volt has an increased EV range of 85 km (up from 61 km) using its new 18.4 kWh lithium-ion battery. Fuel economy numbers have reduced to a combined 5.6L/100 km with help from a reduction in its generator and cell design's weight.

The Mazda CX-3 was also the winner of AJAC's Canadian Car of the Year. It's 146-hp 2.0-litre four-cylinder SkyActiv engine improves not only the CX-3's performance, but also achieves a fuel economy rating of 8.8L/100 km in the city and 7.3L/100 km on the highway.

The Canadian Green Car and Utility Vehicle candidates were evaluated last October during AJAC's “TestFest” event by over 70 AJAC journalists. A separate round of voting was held for the ten classified green entries, and those votes were compiled on top of the regular testing results in order to determine the Canadian Green Vehicle winners.

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Honda Civic and Mazda CX-3 take home top Canadian awards

For the fourth year in a row, the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) has chosen a Japanese automaker as the Canadian Car of the Year winner.

For 2016, the highly popular Honda Civic sedan takes home top honours for the second time in its history over four worthy German competitors in the Volkswagen Golf Sportwagon, Volkswagen Golf R, Mercedes-AMG C63 S and the Mercedes-AMG GT S.

For Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year, it was the Mazda CX-3 winning the day. It was the third time Mazda won an overall AJAC award, but the first time in the Utility category. The CX-3 beat out the Volvo XC90, Kia Sorento and Chevrolet Silverado for the award.

The all-new 2016 Honda Civic, currently the Canadian car sales champ for 18 consecutive years was built from the ground up on a new platform for its tenth-generation. It's wider, longer and sits lower to the ground for a sportier, athletic stance. The cabin has added some premium touches and added technology, while the drive is more peaceful and quiet with minimal road noise.


Mazda's Kodo “Soul of Motion” works masterfully on the brand new CX-3 compact crossover. Under the hood, it receives a 146-hp 2.0-litre inline four engine that doesn't seem like much, but it handles like a champ in front-wheel or all-wheel drive. Its combination of looks and excellent fuel economy helped the CX-3 stand out from the crowd.

Voting for the award took place last fall in Bowmanville, Ontario as 71 AJAC journalists from across Canada came to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park to evaluate a total of 41 eligible vehicles. 22 of those vehicles would be slotted in car categories with the winner of each category becoming eligible for the grand car of the year prize, while 19 of them were slotted for Utility Vehicle of the Year.

The testing for each category is conducted via back-to-back car comparisons on regular roads with some of those more performance-based vehicles hitting the track for extra evaluation.

A detailed scoring system is utilized in order to calculate the vote. There are 21 separate evaluation parameters that include acceleration, braking, handling, styling and ride comfort in order to determine a category winner. Once those winners have been named, the accounting firm of KPMG look to the separate ballot scores that were marked for the Canadian Car and Utility Vehicle of the Year. These categories include: occupant environment, performance, vehicle dynamics, price/value, market significance and emotional appeal.


AJAC category award winners announced


Toronto, ON – It was a great day for a few German automakers at the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada's (AJAC) “Best New” category winner awards.

Out of the nine awards handed out, Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz won two each, as the Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen 1.8TSI took the award for Family Car and the Volkswagen Golf R won for Sports/Performance vehicle under $50K; while the Mercedes-AMG C-Class (C 63 S) and Mercedes-AMG GT (S Coupe) won for Sports/Performance over $50K and the Prestige/Performance category, respectively.

“After such a challenging year, it is particularly rewarding that the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada has recognized both the Volkswagen Golf R and Golf Sportwagen for what they really are – great cars in a very competitive market,” said Thomas Tetzlaff, Manager of Media Relations for Volkswagen Canada.

“This double win for Mercedes-AMG represents an important and valuable validation by the top automotive journalists in Canada,” said Nathalie Gravel, public relations supervisor at Mercedes-Benz Canada. “Mercedes-AMG, the high performance division of Mercedes-Benz, has been producing some of the most sought-after vehicles in the world. They're the product of skilled craftsmen, designers and engineers that work tirelessly to create a driving experience that is unique.”

All of the other winners were spread out and are as follows: Honda Civic Sedan for Small Car, Mazda CX-3 for SUV/CUV under $35K, Kia Sorento for SUV/CUV $35K-$60K, Volvo XC90 for SUV/CUV over $60K and the Chevrolet Silverado for Pickup.

The closest race came in the SUV/CUV $35K-$60K category that saw the top four finishers separated by only eight points. The Kia Sorento edged out the Honda Pilot by one point to take the award, while the Hyundai Tucson and BMW X1 were right on the South Korean's heels.

The voting for these category winners were conducted by AJAC journalists, who gathered this October at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Clarington, Ontario for a four-day test drive evaluation of brand-new or significantly changed models. 

All of the category winners will now compete for Canadian Car of the Year and Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year. Last year's winner came out of the Family car category, as the Subaru Legacy took top honours as Canadian Car of the Year beating out the Volkswagen Golf and Hyundai Genesis. The Ford F-150 won for Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year besting the Subaru Outback and Porsche Macan S.

The two overall winners will be announced at a morning press conference at the Canadian International AutoShow in Toronto on February 11, 2016.

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