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2007 Canadian Car & Truck of the Year winners
2007 'Best New' car, SUV and truck category winners reflect extensive testing by automotive journalists
The 2007 'Best New' winners in 13 different "Canadian Car of the Year" categories were announced Nov. 21, 2006, in Toronto by the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC).
The purpose of the Canadian Car of the Year (CCOTY) awards program, created by journalist members of AJAC, is to provide consumers with sound, comparative information on vehicles that are new to the market.
For that reason, the vote results that determined today's winners are available on the AJAC web site www.ajac.ca, for use by consumers as a resource buying guide when researching the purchase of a new car, truck, SUV or CUV for 2007.
Also available to consumers are the comparative test data derived from the journalists' extensive three-day evaluation of 195 new 2007 vehicles in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., from October 25-27, 2007. This annual event is known in the industry as 'TestFest'.
CarTest! editor Bill Roebuck, a voting member of AJAC, participated in the event, judging two categories.
2007 CCOTY chairman Paul Williams commented, "In my opinion, the AJAC Canadian Car of the Year awards are founded on the most objective, informed and thorough evaluation process you'll find. The evaluations are based on back-to-back testing in real-world situations. They're a uniquely Canadian resource for people looking to buy a new vehicle."
Denis DesRosiers of DesRosiers Automotive Consultants agrees: "As car awards go I personally believe that the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada serve our industry very well. Their testing process is very thorough and fair, involving journalists who evaluate a very wide spectrum of vehicles through the year and thus know how to evaluate a complex product. They come together once a year to evaluate these specific vehicles and their choices are almost always right on the mark."
AJAC's three consumer surveys show that winning an AJAC Canadian Car of the Year award is increasingly important for potential buyers of new cars. For example, a survey of 2004 Canadian Car of the Year buyers confirmed an influence of 58.4%. In 2002 that influence was 47.5% and in 1999 the influence was 44.5%.
The 2007 'Best New' contenders, winner and two runner-ups in each category, along with their Overall Scores, are:
Small Car under $18,000
Honda FIT LX (winner) / 715.2
Hyundai Accent GS Premium (runner-up) / 679.9
Nissan Versa Hatchback (runner-up) / 682.4
Pontiac Wave / 631.1
Toyota Yaris - 4-door / 677.3
Small Car over $18,000
Volkswagen Rabbit 2.5 (winner) / 696.5
Dodge Caliber SXT / 637.0
Hyundai Elantra GLS (runner-up) / 676.8
Nissan Sentra (runner-up) / 665.5
Suzuki SX-4 / 644.2
Family Car $22,000 - $30,000
Toyota Camry LE (winner) / 685.0
DCX Sebring Touring / 653.1
Kia Magentis LX (runner-up) / 668.2
Nissan Altima 2.5 L (runner-up) / 671.3
Family Car over $30,000
Toyota Camry Hybrid (winner) / 683.1
Kia Amanti / 641.7
Nissan Maxima / 642.1
Saturn Aura Sedan (runner-up) / 653.9
Volkswagen Passat Wagon (runner-up) / 662.0
Luxury Car under $50,000
Lexus ES 350 (winner) / 679.0
Infiniti G35X Sedan (runner-up) / 668.6
Lincoln MKZ (runner-up) / 625.9
Audi S8 (winner) / 642.5
Jaguar XK Convertible / 536.3
Lexus LS 460L (runner-up) / 639.7
Mercedes-Benz S Class (runner-up) / 641.2
Sports/Performance Car under $50,000
MazdaSpeed3 (winner) / 711.7
Acura CSX - Type S (runner-up) / 676.7
Saturn Sky Redline / 642.1
Volkswagen GTI 2.0T (runner-up) / 710.9
Sports/Performance Car over $50,000
BMW 3-Series Coupé (winner) / 705.4
Audi RS 4 (runner-up) / 673.8*
Audi S6 / 657.4
BMW M Coupé (runner-up) / 665.8
Lexus GS450h / 658.2
Shelby GT 500 / 603.1
(*Editor's Note: Overall Scores are factored for price. In this exceptional case, the Audi RS 4 had the highest number of points in Team Scoring, but when CCOTY's pricing factor is applied (it costs $30,000 more than the BMW 3 Series Coupé), its adjusted score put it in second place. For details on the pricing factor, see www.ajac.ca.)
Volkswagen EOS 2.0T (winner) / 672.8
Audi A4 Cabriolet 2.0T (runner-up) / 637.4
Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder (runner-up) / 625.5
Pontiac G6 Convertible / 609.1
Chevrolet Avalanche (winner) / 634.1
Ford Sport Trac XLT V8 4x4 (runner-up) / 617.7
Cadillac Escalade EXT (runner-up) / 606.3
SUV/CUV under $35,000
Toyota RAV4 - V6 Sport (winner) / 693.2
Dodge Nitro SLT / 602.1
Ford Edge / 658.8
Honda CRV LX AWD (runner-up) / 686.1
Hyundai Santa Fe GL / 677.4
Jeep Compass North / 608.8
Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 4-door / 566.6
Mazda CX-7 (runner-up) / 687.1
Saturn Vue Green Line / 632.6
SUV/CUV $35,000 - $60,000
Acura RDX Technology Package (winner) / 668.8
Chevrolet Tahoe / 592.6
Dodge Aspen Limited / 597.6
Lincoln MKX / 601.8
Suzuki XL7 AWD (runner-up) / 650.1
Toyota FJ Cruiser - Automatic (runner-up) / 635.7
SUV/CUV over $60,000
Mercedes-Benz GL Class (winner) / 650.4
Acura MDX Elite (runner-up) / 650.1
Audi Q7 4.2 Premium (runner-up) / 637.6
Cadillac Escalade / 601.2
Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer MAX / 614.0
GMC Yukon Denali / 597.8
Lincoln Navigator / 586.1
The manufacturer with the largest number of wins was Toyota, with the Camry LE in the Best New Family Car ($22,000-$30,000) category, the Camry Hybrid, in the Best New Family Car (over $30,000) category, and the RAV4 V6 Sport, in the Best New SUV/CUV (under $35k) category.
“The Toyota Camry is North America's most popular passenger car. The Toyota Camry Hybrid represents an important evolution of gasoline-electric hybrid technology in the second most popular market segment in Canada. And the redesigned Toyota RAV4 will be manufactured in Woodstock, Ont., when our new assembly plant, currently under construction, begins production in 2008,” said Stephen Beatty, managing director at Toyota Canada Inc., when accepting the awards. The company's luxury nameplate also took an award, with the Lexus ES 350 being voted Best New Luxury Car (under $50,000).
Other Japanese-based makes received a total of three awards, making Japan's carmakers the heaviest winners with seven awards in the 13 categories. German automakers were next with five awards, and a single award was received by one of the so-called 'Big Three' North American-based companies (General Motors).
The overall Canadian Car of the Year, Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year, as well as the Canadian Truck of the Year will all be announced on Feb. 14, 2007, at the 2007 Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto. The 2007 Best New Design and Best New Technology winners will also be declared at that time.
Still looking to buy a 2006 new car? AJAC archives the comparative test data and vote results from previous years on its web site.
For more information on the 2007 Canadian Car of the Year Awards, visit the AJAC web site (www.ajac.ca), call AJAC at 1-905-342-2220, or send an e-mail to email@example.com.