“While I didn’t expect the Volvo V60 Polestar to eclipse Ford Mustang GT, it was certainly good to see Volvo, a company with a great history that has teetered on the brink of extinction, back in the winner’s circle.”
The 2015 Canadian Car of the Year competition moved in to its final phase with the announcement of the final fifteen “Best New” category winners by the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada, better known as AJAC.
These category winners were chosen by 73 Canadian automotive journalists following a recently completed hands-on, five-day, back-to-back evaluation drive event, known as “TestFest”, in Niagara Falls, Ontario. The testing is both detailed and a challenging process that generated 1,640 evaluation drives, approximately 106,405 data points and 500 category ballots.
“TestFest is the most intensive new vehicle evaluation process on the planet,” said CCOTY Co-Chair, Gary Grant. “No other organization employs such stringent testing methods to determine their car of year award winners. Data driven and Canadian expertise: that’s what makes an AJAC winner”.
The 2015 Canadian Car of the Year “Best New” award winners are:
City Car: Kia Soul EV
Small Car (under $21k): Honda Fit
Small Car (over $21k): Volkswagen Golf
Family Car (under $30k): Subaru Legacy 2.5i
Family Car (over $30k): Hyundai Sonata
Luxury Car (under $50k): Mercedes-Benz C-Class
Luxury Car (over $50k): Hyundai Genesis
Sports – Performance (under $50k): BMW M235i
Sports – Performance (over $50k): Volvo V60 Polestar
Prestige (over $75k): Mercedes-Benz S-Class
Prestige – Performance (over $75k): Porsche 911 Turbo S
SUV – CUV (under $35k): Subaru Outback 2.5i
SUV – CUV ($35k-$60k) : Toyota Highlander
SUV – CUV (over $60k): Porsche Macan S
Pickup: Ford F-150
Within this group of “Best New” category winners is the eventual 2015 Canadian Car of the Year and 2015 Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year and these announcements will be made at the Canadian International Auto Show, in Toronto , on February 12, 2015. In addition, AJAC will also present 2015 awards for Best New Technology (January 15 / Montreal Auto Show) and Canadian Green Car of the Year (March 24/Vancouver Auto Show).
Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Subaru were all double winners and, as usual, there were a few surprises. You can look at the voting and scoring details plus all the collected data on performance (acceleration, braking, fuel economy, etc.) on the AJAC web site (ajac.ca). You can also look back on previous winners going all the way back to 1985, when the Volkswagen Golf (an omen perhaps?) was a winner.
A few weeks ago, I made some winner predictions for the seven categories that I managed to drive all entries, while at Testfest. Three proved to be right on the mark, two were runner-ups, but sadly, my Toyota Camry Hybrid and Chevrolet Tahoe choices were completely off target. The Acura RLX Hybrid was my most disappointing non-winner, as I also considered it a good candidate for overall Canadian Car of the Year. The RLX is an amazing sophisticated automobile that could yet win a new technology award.
There were just two entries in all-electric City Car category and the Kia Soul EV was a clear winner. I’ve heard both small car victors Honda Fit and VW Golf talked about as the potential overall winner. The double wins for Subaru and Hyundai were a bit of a surprise (to some) but it was certainly nice to see Porsche recognised for two outstanding products. While I didn’t expect the Volvo V60 Polestar to eclipse Ford Mustang GT, it was certainly good to see Volvo, a company with a great history that was teetered on the brink of extinction, back in the winner’s circle.
All voting for Canadian Car of the Year is done by secret ballot and the esteemed accounting firm KPMG tabulated the results.