Wednesday, December 5, 2007, posted by Auto Rider at 8:46 PM


At a press conference of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) held at the Toronto Congress Center at the country’s capital, twelve vehicles from twelve “Car of the Year” categories were awarded as “Best New” for 2008.


Giving recognition to the vehicles is the AJAC’s means of giving Canadians honest comparative information about new vehicles debuting in the country’s auto market. To stand for this cause, the organization made the information about each vehicle that made it on the list in their website ready for consumer access. To come up with the vehicle’s data, AJAC conducted a series of evaluation for the 177 new vehicles which initially made it as entries. The four day vehicle tests were held last October 29-November 2, 2007 at the Niagara-on-the-lake in Ontario. This yearly vehicle assessment had been famed in the global auto industry as the “TestFest”.

For the data to be reliable reflecting real life consumer driving experiences, the TestFest’s evaluation program includes the typical driving at public roads. At the site, 70 Journalists get to pick their bet by means of driving the cars back to back themselves on the same roads, day and under the same weather conditions to avoid bias. Seventeen evaluation parameters are used that basically include driver position and ergonomics, engine smoothness, steering, handling, visibility and styling both in the exterior and interior of the vehicle. With these filtering program, winning vehicles are really the best in their kind.

2008 CCOTY Co-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".

The 2008 category winners are:

BEST NEW SMALL CAR: Saturn Astra
BEST NEW FAMILY CAR: Honda Accord EX Sedan
BEST NEW LUXURY CAR: Mercedes-Benz C Class
BEST NEW PRESTIGE CAR (over $75,000): Audi R8
BEST NEW SPORTS/PERFORMANCE CAR under $50,000: MINI Cooper S
BEST NEW SPORTS/PERFORMANCE CAR over $50,000: Audi S5
BEST NEW CONVERTIBLE: BMW 335i Cabriolet
BEST NEW MINIVAN: Hyundai Entourage
BEST NEW PICKUP TRUCK: Chevrolet Silverado
BEST NEW SUV/CUV under $35,000: Nissan Rogue
BEST NEW SUV/CUV $35,000 - $60,000: Saturn Vue
BEST NEW SUV/CUV over $60,000: Buick Enclave

Aside from the twelve “Best New” awards, AJAC also awarded the Audi R8 as the “Most Coveted Vehicle”. The AJAC started recognizing vehicles as the “Most Coveted Vehicle” in 2005 giving honor to a dream car. The vehicle, to be a winner must gain the interests of car enthusiasts enough for them to say that it’s the vehicle they would buy in case they win in a lottery.

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