Once again this year, the Automotive Journalist Association of Canada hosted their annual “TestFest” in Niagara, Ontario during the last week of October.
Over the course of three days, Canada’s top automotive journalists took turns pushing 170 vehicles on a closed course inside the Niagara District Airport and on short drives through surrounding public roads.
Vehicle categories included cars, SUVs and CUVs. Everything from the affordable Nissan Versa to the pricy Jaguar XKR to the mighty Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 was out burning rubber.
TestFest is carefully set up with a strong emphasis on removing subjectivity in reviewing every one of the vehicles tested. Points are scored for everything from interior space, to driving dynamics. Cars are tested in batches so that each journalist goes through the entire category on the same day, in the same road and weather conditions. AJAC takes pride in its organizing of a testing event that allows for the fairest possible direct comparisons amongst all like vehicles.
AJAC members collectively scored over 40,000 data points that were analyzed by accounting firm KPMG and announced on the morning of October 28th.
The Best New Vehicles as voted on by AJAC play a significant role in Canadian car sales through the following year. With the Korean automakers taking 5 of the 11 category wins, 2012 new car sales seem to be poised to follow in the footsteps of 2011 where Hyundai and Kia have dominated much of the year so far.
From 11 vehicle categories, here are your winners for the AJAC Best New Vehicles of 2012:
Best New Small Car – under $21k: Hyundai Accent
Best New Small Car – over $21k: Hyundai Elantra
Best New Family Car – under $30k: Kia Optima
Best New Family Car – over $30k: Kia Optima Hybrid
Best New Luxury Car: Mercedes-Benz C-Class C350 4MATIC Sedan
Best New Prestige Car – over $75k: Mercedes-Benz S-Class S350 BlueTEC 4MATIC
Best New Sports/ Performance Car – under $50k: Hyundai Veloster
Best New Sports/ Performance Car – over $50k: BMW 1 Series M Coupé
Best New SUV/CUV – under $35k: Dodge Journey
Best New SUV/CUV – $35k-$60k: Volkswagen Touareg TDI Clean Diesel
Best New SUV/CUV – over $60k: BMW X3
To compare this list to the 2011 Best New Vehicle results, check out our article here.
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