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The Canadian Car of the Year (CCOTY) event takes place each fall as Shannonville Motorsport Park near Belleville, Ont. Photo by Bill Roebuck.

65 new models were evaluated by AJAC back to back at the annual TestFest in Shannonville, Ont.

2005 Canadian Car and Truck of the Year Overall Winners
And the winners are...

Toronto, ON -- The Ford Mustang is the 2005 Canadian Car of the Year, and the Honda Odyssey is the 2005 Canadian Truck of the Year, the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) has determined. The awards were announced Feb. 16, 2005, in conjunction with the Canadian International AutoShow in Toronto.

The Mustang also was declared Best New Design for 2005. AJAC member Tony Whitney, explained that, "The intent of the design award is to identify and reward the vehicle that we collectively judge to exhibit the most esthetically pleasing combination of appearance and function."

The Canadian Car of the Year (COTY) Awards are an annual event that brings the top automotive journalists from across Canada to a small town in Ontario where, this year, 64 eligible vehicles were tested during a four-day TestFest to select the best new vehicles in 12 categories.

The AJAC Car of the Year Awards are unique in that they are selected by an independent association which has no relationship, or affiliation with any car or truck manufacturer, according to AJAC's Car of the Year committee members.

The association consists of automobile professionals with varied experiences from a diversity of sources that includes television, magazines, website, radio shows and newspapers. participates in the judging each year, with Editor Bill Roebuck being a team leader for each of the past three years.

Every detail, from safety features to cargo capacity, is thoroughly scrutinized, discussed, and individually rated by secret ballot. The international accounting firm KPMG, which keeps the results confidential, then tabulates those ballots.

Only AJAC's Car of the Year awards are based on the intense back-to-back, identical testing conditions and procedures by groups of totally unbiased automotive experts.

To be eligible for Canadian Car of the Year, a vehicle must have won its category. Category winners were announced in December; the Ford Mustang was named Best New Sports/Performance Car and the Honda Odyssey was named Best New Minivan (minivans are designated as trucks in this competition for various reasons).

Along with the Ford Mustang, the Chrysler 300C -- Best New Luxury Car, and the Honda Accord Hybrid -- Best New Alternative Power, were finalists for Canadian Car of the Year.

2005 Honda Odyssey minivanAlong with the Honda Odyssey, the Toyota Tacoma -- Best New Pickup, and the BMW X3 0.1i -- Best New Sport Utility Vehicle, were finalists for Canadian Truck of the Year.

Another award presented by AJAC -- Best New Technology for 2005 -- went to the Honda Accord Hybrid.

"The Technology Awards have a special meaning to those of us who have a keen interest in 'knowing how it works' as well as how it looks and drives. Our goal is to reward true innovation and originality in automotive technology that also offers a genuine benefit to consumers," said technology juror Bob McHugh.

A panel of technical experts review in detail each of the new technologies submitted for consideration by the car manufacturers. Judging is based on a combination of technical innovation and practicality.

By comparison, the Best New Design judging "is based on exterior and interior appearance, but in a real world context," said judge Tony Whitney. "That means, for example, that an extremely raked windshield or exceptionally low roofline should be judged on the basis of their effects on headroom and visibility as well as styling, and the styling should be appropriate to the type of vehicle. The best balance of form and function should be rewarded."

Vote results, as well as the comparative performance data produced during the annual Test Fest, are available to readers on AJAC's web site at

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