Following an intensive week of testing at the end of October, the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada announced its Best New Vehicle awards for 2017, split into eight distinct categories.
A photo-finish ending in all cases, based on the subjective evaluation of more than 60 Canadian journalists, gathered at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Clarington, Ontario. But also a portion of objective scoring based on several factors such as performance, fuel economy and safety features, for example.
The Best New Small Car award goes to the 2017 Hyundai Elantra, followed by the Chevrolet Cruze Hatch in second place and the Subaru Impreza in third place. Testers gave high points to the Elantra for subjective value, allowing it to finish in first place.
The Best New Large Car award goes to the 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack, thanks to points deserved for style and powertrain performance. It nudged itself ahead of the Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid and Kia Optima Hybrid, which finished second and third, respectively.
The Best New Large Premium Car award goes to the 2017 Buick LaCrosse, while the Volvo S90 and Mercedes-Benz E 300 finished second and third. The LaCrosse stood out with its affordable price, its fuel economy and its ride comfort.
The Best New Sports / Performance Car award goes to the 2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport. It distinguished itself from the Ford Focus RS and the Fiat 124 Spider by its overall combination of handling, interior finish and low price.
The Best New Premium Sports / Performance Car award goes to the 2017 BMW M2. Its subjective value and more accessible price compared to the Porsche 911 Carrera 4S and Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupe, which placed second and third, allowed it to win its category.
The Best New Small Utility Vehicle award goes to the 2017 Subaru Forester, which ranked ahead of the Ford Escape and the Kia Sportage. The Forester stood out by its off-road capability, cockpit ergonomics and subjective value.
The Best New Large Utility Vehicle award goes to the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica, finishing ahead of the Mazda CX-9 and the GMC Acadia. The Pacifica racked up points for the versatility of its cabin as well as available comfort and convenience features.
The Best New Premium Utility Vehicle award goes to the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 4MATIC, taking the category with its combination of subjective value, quality and refinement. It ranked ahead of the Buick Envision and the Cadillac XT5 who respectively finished second and third.
The overall AJAC Car of the Year and AJAC Utility Vehicle of the Year award winners will be announced at the Toronto Auto Show in February, while the AJAC Green Car of the Year and AJAC Green Utility Vehicle of the Year awards will be handed out at the Vancouver Auto Show in March. AJAC’s Best New Technology Awards—one for innovation, one for safety—will be announced at the Montreal Auto Show in January.