In an early morning press conference at the opening of the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto, the Volkswagen Golf (Alltrack) claimed top honours when the car was declared the 2017 Canadian Car of the Year (CCOTY) by the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC).
The Volkswagen Golf (Alltrack) also won in its category as the "Best New Large Car."
"It is such a great honour to have AJAC name the new Volkswagen Golf Alltrack as their car of the year. By adding our 4MOTION all-wheel-drive to the Golf SportWagen, Canadians now have a fantasitic new alternative to choose from. Thank you so much to all the members of AJAC for this recognition," said President and CEO of Volkswagen Group Canada Inc, Maria Stenstr?m.
Eight "Best New" category winners were eligible for the top honours of Canadian Car of the Year and Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year after they were announced on December 6, 2016. Hyundai was a double winner, and other category winners included BMW, Buick, Chrysler, Mercedes-Benz, Subaru and Volkswagen. The eight "Best New" categories cover the full new-model spectrum, including Best New Small Car, Best New Sports/Performance Car, and Best New Utility Vehicle. Most of these core categories are then further broken down into Small, Large and Premium to cover a wide range of types of vehicles.
The category winners represent the voting results by the largest group of Canada's best-known automotive journalists, who gathered this October in Clarington, Ontario for a four-day test-drive evaluation of brand-new or significantly changed models. The event, known as "TestFest," was hosted by Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
"TestFest is the most intensive new-vehicle evaluation process on the planet," said Gary Grant, co-chair of the Canadian Car of the Year committee. "No other organization employs such stringent testing methods to determine its award winners."
The rigorous testing program includes real-world driving on public roads, exactly where consumers drive, so the test data and vote results are directly relevant to potential car and utility vehicle buyers. The results are not based on the personal opinion of just one or two journalists. Instead, over 60 automotive journalists each drove vehicles in their categories back-to-back on the same day, under the same conditions, to ensure fair and objective comparisons.
"Our program is absolutely testing-based," said Justin Pritchard, co-chair of the Canadian Car of the Year committee. "We have experienced vehicle testers driving dozens of vehicles, back to back, over the course of several days. This testing process generated 1,384 test drives, producing over 100,000 data points and 1,058 category ballots. It's important to note that every aspect of this testing data is shared online via our website, so shoppers can see how any given vehicle won its category, or how it stacked up to the category winner."
Data driven and Canadian expertise: That's what makes an AJAC winner.