The Canadian International Auto Show opened yesterday in Toronto with an early morning press conference to announce the winners of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) annual Canadian Car of the Year awards.
There are two awards handed out by AJAC, the 2014 Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year, and the 2014 Canadian Car of the Year.
The finalists were selected via balloting from the segment winners tested and judged by AJAC members during their annual "Testfest" event held in late October in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.
The finalists for top honours in the 2014 Canadian Car of the Year race include the stunning new Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, as well as two entries from Mazda – the compact Mazda3 and the mid-size Mazda6 sedan.
The three finalists in the race to become the 2014 Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year are the luxurious Acura MDX, re-born Jeep Cherokee, and the family-friendly Kia Sorento.
When the curtains were lifted Thursday morning the all-new Jeep Cherokee was declared the 2014 Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year, while the slinky Mazda6 sedan roared away with the crown as 2014 Canadian Car of the Year.
This is big news for Chrysler’s Jeep division has the company had decided to drop the Liberty nameplate in favour of rekindling the Cherokee brand for 2014. The new rig's aerodynamic shape helps with fuel efficiency, while its more car-like ride and comfortable and quiet passenger cabin will give the model more appeal. Hopefully the Cherokee will help Chrysler reinvigorate interest in its Jeep brand.
“From our engineers, to our management, to the people on the assembly line and everyone in between, I can’t truly express how excited we at Chrysler Group are to see the all-new Jeep Cherokee named 2014 Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year by AJAC,” said Reid Bigland, President and CEO, Chrysler Canada.
“To achieve this honour amongst such diverse and worthy competition is both humbling and a reinforcement of our goal to completely redefine what Canadians should expect from an affordable, mid-size SUV. Whether through its cutting-edge design, class-exclusive tech like a segment-first nine-speed automatic transmission, legendary Jeep 4x4 capability or more than 70 advanced safety and security features, the 2014 Cherokee is resonating well with consumers.”
Canadian consumers have always embraced Mazda's products as the company is famous for producing stylish and efficient vehicles at very competitive prices. The popular Mazda6 sedan features a stunning new design, the company’s SKYACTIV technology, and a long list of standard features.
This is the second time that Mazda Canada has earned the overall Canadian Car of the Year title having previously won the title in 2004 for the Mazda3.
"We are truly honoured that AJAC has named the 2014 Mazda6 as their Canadian Car of the Year – our flagship car that demonstrates the best Mazda has to offer. This car introduced a combination of style, safety, fuel economy, and dynamic driving into the midsize segment that has never been available before, and winning CCOTY is an overwhelming acknowledgement of that”, said Kory Koreeda, President, Mazda Canada.
The Canadian Car of the Year awards carry a lot of prestige as the results are based on a combination of objective data and evaluation of some of the best known journalists in the country. Each journalist drives vehicles in a category back-to-back on the same day, under the same conditions, on closed and public roads, so as to ensure fair comparison and consumer relevance.
Every detail, from safety features to cargo capacity, is thoroughly scrutinized and individually rated by secret ballot. Over 40,000 data fields are generated by the journalists. KPMG then tabulates the information from the ballots in order to determine the winners. The vote results are kept confidential – even from AJAC – until announced publicly at the Canadian International Auto Show.
For more information about AJAC, the process, or details about the 2014 CCOTY awards program visit www.ajac.ca.