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2007 Canadian Car & Truck of the Year winners
Canadian journalists select the best for 2007
By Bill Roebuck
Toronto, ON -- At the recent opening of the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto, the Toyota Camry Hybrid was declared the 2007 Canadian Car of the Year (CCOTY) by the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC).
The Toyota Camry Hybrid beat nine other “best new” category winners, announced November 21st, to win the top prize. This is the first time in the awards history that a hybrid has won an overall “Car of the Year” title.
As well, the Acura RDX was declared the 2007 Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year. The Acura RDX was chosen the overall winner from among 25 eligible vehicles in the Sport Utility and Pickup categories.
Other awards announced by AJAC include the Best New Technology for 2007, presented to the 2007 Mercedes-Benz E320 Bluetec, and the Best New Design, awarded to the Saturn Sky Red Line.
The AJAC Technology of the Year award was established to allow a group of technical writers to identify new and innovative technology of significant benefit to the consumer -- so much that it is likely to be emulated by other manufacturers”, says AJAC President and Technology Jury chairman Richard Russell.
Past winners include everything from run-flat tires to various hybrid and suspension technologies, and include last year's Lexus Direct and Port Fuel Injection, the Honda Accord Hybrid system in 2005 and the BMW Active Steering technology in 2004.
A panel of technical experts review in detail each of the new technologies submitted for consideration by the car manufacturers. Judging is based on a combination of technical innovation and practicality. This year's winner, Bluetec technology, enables diesel engines to meet strict new North American emissions standards, thus allowing customers here to access to the many diesel advantages that Europeans have long enjoyed.
The Saturn Sky Red Line, chosen the overall design winner from amongst 65 eligible vehicles representing all entries in the 2007 Canadian Car of the Year awards, lead contenders -- the BMW M Coupé and the Jaguar XK Convertible -- in the list of design finalists.
“Trends come and go, but good design endures. It's what sets a vehicle apart from the hundreds of models, thousands of variations and millions vehicles on the road” commented 2007 CCOTY chair Paul Williams.
“The intent of the AJAC design award is to identify and reward the vehicle that we collectively judge to exhibit the most aesthetically pleasing combination of appearance and function. Judging is based on exterior and interior appearance, but in a real world context," said Williams. "That means, for example, that an extremely raked windshield or exceptionally low roofline should be judged on the basis of their effects on headroom and visibility as well as styling, and the styling should be appropriate to the type of vehicle. The best balance of form and function should be rewarded.
“With manufacturers introducing an increasing number of new vehicles each year, consumers may find it harder to keep track of what's available in the marketplace, and how one vehicle differs from another. The AJAC Canadian Car of the Year program identifies and categorizes all the new vehicles each year, then subjects them to detailed testing in real-world situations. It's not a popularity contest; it's a thorough, objective and trustworthy process to help consumers make informed purchase decisions”.
The Car of the Year vote results are posted to the AJAC web site for use by consumers as a resource buying guide. The results show comparisons between all 13 category winners as announced on November 21, 2006.
In addition, consumers will also find comparative test data - acceleration, braking, manoeuvrability, cargo capacity - on over 180 new vehicles representing the 65 entries in the 2007 Canadian Car of the Year Awards. The data derives from the journalists' annual “TestFest”. It's a rigorous three-day team testing program that includes "real world" driving on public roads -- where consumers drive.
Dennis DesRosiers of DesRosiers Automotive Consultants said recently: “As car awards go I personally believe that the Automobile Journalists of Canada (AJAC) serve our industry very well... their choices are almost always right on the mark.”
Still looking to buy a 2006 new car? AJAC archives the comparative test data and vote results from previous years on its web site, www.ajac.ca.