TESTFEST 2017

THE BAL­LOTS HAVE BEEN COUNTED AND THE FI­NAL­ISTS HAVE BEEN SE­LECTED FOR THE 2017 CANA­DIAN CAR AND UTIL­ITY VE­HI­CLE OF THE YEAR

Ignition - - Front Page - BY LEE BAILIE | PHOTOGRAPHY COUR­TESY OF AJAC

For the 29th time, the results from ex­haus­tive real-world test­ing are in and it won’t be long be­fore the Cana­dian Car and Util­ity Ve­hi­cle of the Year are crowned once again.

Last Oc­to­ber, the Au­to­mo­bile Jour­nal­ists As­so­ci­a­tion of Canada (AJAC) con­vened at Cana­dian Tire Mo­tor­sport Park (CTMP) to eval­u­ate 34 all-new or sig­nif­i­cantly re­vised ve­hi­cles across eight cat­e­gories in or­der to de­ter­mine the ‘Best New Ve­hi­cles’ in each class through com­pre­hen­sive real-world test­ing.

This is the sec­ond year AJAC has hosted Testfest, as it is known, at CTMP, a sprawl­ing mo­tor­sport and ma­jor event fa­cil­ity lo­cated north of Bowmanville, On­tario.

For the pur­poses of Testfest, CTMP’S 2.88 kilo­me­tre Driver Devel­op­ment Cir­cuit is used to eval­u­ate per­for­mance, along with an on-site han­dling course, off-road course and sur­round­ing pub­lic roads.

AJAC also con­ducts per­for­mance test­ing to gather its own real-world data for ac­cel­er­a­tion (0-100 km/h, 80-120 km/h) and brak­ing (100 km/h-0).

As is the case each year, cars in each cat­e­gory are tested on the same roads on the same day, back-to-back in or­der to elim­i­nate en­vi­ron­men­tal vari­abil­ity and to pro­vide ob­jec­tive com­par­isons.

Af­ter each test drive, vot­ing jour­nal­ists com­plete a bal­lot cov­er­ing a broad ar­ray of sub­jec­tive and ob­jec­tive cat­e­gories, as­sign­ing nu­mer­i­cal scores for each.

Once all ve­hi­cles in a cat­e­gory have been tested and scored, jour­nal­ists en­ter the bal­lots into an elec­tronic data­base where the results are tab­u­lated by the ac­count­ing firm KPMG.

Be­cause it em­ploys such thor­ough test­ing meth­ods, Testfest has long been rec­og­nized as one of the most rig­or­ous au­to­mo­bile test­ing pro­grams in the world and the 2017 edi­tion was no ex­cep­tion.

In to­tal, more than 60 automotive jour­nal­ists tested ve­hi­cles back-to-back in their as­signed cat­e­gories over a pe­riod of four days, gen­er­at­ing 1,384 test drives which pro­duced more than 100,000 data points and 1,058 cat­e­gory bal­lots.

“Our pro­gram is ab­so­lutely test­ing-based,” says Justin Pritchard, co-chair of the Cana­dian Car of the Year com­mit­tee. “We have dozens of ex­pe­ri­enced ve­hi­cle testers driv­ing dozens of ve­hi­cles, back to back, over the course of sev­eral days.”

The eight cat­e­gory win­ners fea­tured on the fol­low­ing pages are the fi­nal­ists for the 2017 AJAC Cana­dian Car and Util­ity Ve­hi­cle of the Year. Both award win­ners will be an­nounced at Cana­dian In­ter­na­tional Auto Show in Toronto in Fe­bru­ary.

In the mean­time, de­tailed results con­cern­ing how the 2017 en­tries were scored (past years are also avail­able) and the cri­te­ria upon which the scores are based are pub­licly avail­able at www.ajac.ca/ web/ccoty/pre­vi­ous_byyear. asp for con­sumers who would like to know more about the pro­gram.

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