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