Mazda was the big winner when the "Best New" vehicles in 12 categories were announced by the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), at a press conference in Toronto today.
The Mazda3 sedan and Mazda3 Sport hatchback were winners in the Small Car under and over $21,000 categories, respectively, while the Mazda6 claimed the honours in the Family Car over $30,000 class.
General Motors won with the Chevrolet Corvette and GMC Sierra pickup, while Kia's Sorento and Soul each claimed their category laurels.
Other class winners included the Acura MDX, Infiniti Q50 Hybrid, Jeep Cherokee, Lexus IS 350 and Mercedes-Benz S Class.
The winners were determined by a combination of subjective evaluations and objective data resulting from five-days of intensive testing at AJAC's annual TestFest, held in Niagara Falls, Ontario in October.
During that program, 80 AJAC member journalists tested 174 new vehicles in 12 categories in a rigorous, back-to-back testing process on both closed courses and public roads.
The results were calculated from more than 40,000 individual data points, with individual ratings of everything from comfort and convenience to ride and handling rated by secret ballot. They were compiled and tabulated by the International accounting firm KPMG and kept confidential, even from AJAC, until they were revealed at today's press conference.
The 12 category winners now go on to compete for the top honour of being either the 2014 Canadian Car of the Year or the 2014 Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year. The overall winners will be declared on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at the beginning of media day at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto.
The complete list of category winners follows:
Small Car (under $21k)
Small Car (over $21k)
Mazda3 Sport hatchback
Family Car (under $30k)
Family Car (over $30k)
Luxury Car (under $50k)
Lexus IS 350
Luxury Car (over $50k)
Infiniti Q50 Hybrid
Sports/Performance (over $50k)
Chevrolet Corvette Stingray coupe
Mercedes-Benz S Class
SUV/CUV (under $35k)
SUV/CUV ($35k to $60k)
SUV/CUV (over $60k)
Detailed scoring results for all 58 competitors in the Canadian Car of the Year program and further details about TestFest and the awards presentations are available at the AJAC website.