Best new cars revealed after most “intensive vehicle evaluation on the planet”

Posted on 1 Dec 2015 by Tim Brown
Hayato Mori, senior of product planning for Honda Canada, is presented with the award for the Best New Small Car category at the 2016 Canadian Car of the Year Awards
Hayato Mori, senior of product planning for Honda Canada (left), is presented with the award for the Best New Small Car category at the 2016 Canadian Car of the Year Awards.

The nine "Best New" vehicle category winners have been announced by the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) following on from its "intensive" annual 'TestFest' event.

The results were tabulated by KPMG, the accounting firm that works with the association and its Canadian Car of the Year awards.

The nine “Best New” categories cover the full new-model spectrum, including Best New Small Car, Best New Sports/Performance, and Best New SUV/CUV.  Most of these core categories are further divided into price ranges to better provide fair and relevant comparisons.

The vehicles named will now compete for the overall Canadian Car of the Year and Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year honours, which will be announced at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto next February.

AJAC will also announce the winners of its Canadian Green Car of the Year awards at the Vancouver International Auto Show in March.

The category winners represent the voting results by the largest group of Canada’s best-known automotive journalists, who gathered this October in Clarington, Ontario for a four-day test-drive evaluation of brand-new or significantly changed models. The event, known as ‘TestFest’, was hosted by Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

“TestFest is the most intensive new-vehicle evaluation process on the planet,” said Gary Grant, co-chair of the Canadian Car of the Year committee. “No other organisation employs such stringent testing methods to determine its award winners.”

Check out the video of  day 4 of ‘TestFest’ here.

The rigorous testing program includes real-world driving on public roads, exactly where consumers drive, so the test data and vote results are directly relevant to potential car and utility vehicle buyers. The results are not based on the personal opinion of just one or two journalists.

Instead, 71 automotive journalists each drove vehicles in their categories back-to-back on the same day, under the same conditions, to ensure fair and objective comparisons.

“Our program is absolutely testing-based,” said Justin Pritchard, co-chair of the Canadian Car of the Year committee. “We have dozens of experienced vehicle testers driving dozens of vehicles, back to back, over the course of several days.

“This testing process generated 1,911 test drives, producing over 110,000 data points and 1701 category ballots. It’s important to note that every aspect of this testing data is shared online via our website, so shoppers can see how any given vehicle won its category, or how it stacked up to the category winner.”

And the winners are:


Honda Civic

Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen 1.8TSI

Volkswagen Golf R

Mercedes-Benz AMG C-Class (C 63 S)

Mercedes Benz AMG GT (S Coupe)

Chevrolet Silverado

SUV / CUV under $35K
Mazda CX-3

SUV / CUV $35K – $60K
Kia Sorento

SUV / CUV over $60K
Volvo XC90