AJAC announces annual Canadian vehicle awards

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At this year’s Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto on February 14, the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada announced its annual vehicle awards.

Out of a total of three finalists (Honda Accord, Hyundai Elantra GT and Porsche Boxster) it was the former, the redesigned 2013 Accord that took top honours. Upon announcement, Takashi Sekiguchi, Honda Canada Inc.’s president and CEO, remarked.

“Thank you to all the voting members of AJAC. It is an honour to have our all-new Accord recognized by so many of Canada’s most-respected journalists. The 2013 Accord was designed to once again raise the bar in the family car category and deliver a fun, roomy and efficient choice for families. We think Accord does exactly that and are pleased that AJAC does as well.”

2013-Hyundai-SantaFeThe 2013 Accord signals a more green direction for this popular mid-size sedan, incorporating what Honda calls its “Earth Dreams Technology,” namely more fuel-efficient powertrains. The standard engine is a new generation 2.4-litre four-cylinder unit coupled with a CVT or conventional six-speed transmission. Additionally, a plug-in hybrid model that uses a 2.0-liter gas engine and twin electric motors, also marks a first for the Japanese automaker in North America.

Besides Car of the Year, AJAC also announced the annual “Utility of the Year,” which includes crossovers, pickup trucks and SUVs. Beating out the Ford Escape 1.6 EcoBoost, was the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.0T. Steve Kelleher, president and CEO of Hyundai Auto Canada Corp., said that the Sante Fe winning this year’s utility award, “is a vindication for all the effort Hyundai designers and engineers invested into the project. The Santa Fe trades on the latest Hyundai hallmarks, including great styling, fuel efficiency, quality, value and safety. We couldn’t be more proud of the award AJAC has honoured us with today.”

This is the second award bestowed upon the new Santa Fe by AJAC. Last fall, during the association’s annual Test Fest, it was judged best CUV/SUV in the $35,000-$60,000 category.

AJAC also announced the “Best New Design” award (Porsche Boxster) and “Best New Technology” award (General Motors’ Front Centre Airbag).

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