Toronto, ON – Two first timers came out overall winners at the 2019 Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) Canadian Car of the Year awards presentation.
The Kia Stinger took the honours as the 2019 Canadian Car of the Year; while the Jaguar I-Pace won the equivalent prize for the 2019 Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year. The winners were announced and awards presented in the John Bassett Theatre to open the 2019 Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto.
The Stinger, which was also winner of the Best Large Car in Canada award, won with a score of 821 beating out the Volvo V90 R-Design (Best Premium Car) with 789 points, and its smaller sibling the Kia Forte (Best Small Car) at 778.
The first sports-sedan produced by Kia, the Stinger rode high marks in exterior styling, performance, vehicle dynamics and subjective value to victory as it was voted the most deserving of the eligible passenger-car category winners.
“It's our 20th anniversary here in Canada and this win is definitely a nice present,” explains Michael Kopke, director of marketing, Kia Canada. “Canadians got to enjoy Stinger when we introduced it last year and now to have the Automobile Journalist Association of Canada formally recognize it is a real thrill.”
The I-Pace had an easier ride to victory in its initial SUV category, blowing away its competition in performance, as well as excelling in vehicle dynamics, NVH, and especially in the fuel economy department. It followed up that victory by once again easily defeating the other utility vehicle finalists with a score of 854, compared to 802 for the Mazda CX-5 and 792 for the Hyundai Kona.
AJAC's comprehensive Car of the Year program involves more than 70 Canadian journalists voting on 55 all-new or substantially updated vehicles. For 2019, the rules also added the eligibility of returning category winners to the contest.
More than 1,500 anonymous ballots were cast to determine the 2019 category winners, which then competed against each other in their respective passenger car and utility vehicle segments, based on a second set of scoring criteria.
The Canadian automotive award season will conclude with the AJAC Canadian Green Car and Utility Vehicle of the Year winners to be announced at the Vancouver International Auto Show on March 19, 2019.