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2009 Canadian Car of the Year Winners

Category winners selected after back-to-back testing by AJAC members

After five days of intense testing, the 2009 'Best New' AJAC award winners in 14 different vehicle categories have been announced by the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC). The winners were selected after five days of back-to-back testing of 65 all-new 2009 models at Niagara District Airport in Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON.

The 2009 category winners are:

BEST NEW SMALL CAR (under $18k):  Toyota Corolla

BEST NEW SMALL CAR (over $18k): Pontiac Vibe

BEST NEW FAMILY CAR ($22k-$30k): Mazda6

BEST NEW FAMILY CAR (over $30k): Volkswagen Passat CC

BEST NEW LUXURY CAR (under $50k): Hyundai Genesis

BEST NEW LUXURY CAR (over $50k):  Audi A4

BEST NEW PRESTIGE CAR:  Mercedes CL 550 and Mercedes SL 63 AMG (tie)

BEST NEW SPORTS / PERFORMANCE CAR (under $50k):  BMW 135i Coupe




BEST NEW SUV / CUV (under $35k):  Subaru Forester

BEST NEW SUV / CUV ($35k-$60k):  Ford Flex

BEST NEW SUV / CUV (over $60k): Mercedes-Benz M-Class BlueTEC

The 14 category winners listed above now go on to compete for the honour of being either the 2009 Canadian Car of the Year or the 2009 Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year. These overall winners will be announced on February 11, 2009, at the 2009 Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto, ON. The 2009 Best New Design and Best New Technology winners will also be declared at that time.  

The purpose of the AJAC awards is to provide consumers with a valuable resource that comprises comparative information on vehicles that are new to the market.  Are consumers listening?  It would appear so.

Maritz Research, on behalf of AJAC and in association with General Motors of Canada Ltd., conducted a survey of 2008 Buick Enclave purchasers to test their recognition of AJAC, the AJAC awards and the Buick Enclave as the winner of the Best New SUV Over $60,000 award for 2008.  

Fully 74% of the 2008 Buick Enclave buyers who were aware of the AJAC Awards program when they purchased their vehicles knew that the Enclave was voted Best New SUV Over $60,000 - a record high-point for awareness. And of those buyers, 41% said the award had a positive influence on their buying decision.

That is a concrete measure of how influential the AJAC Canadian Car of the Year Awards have become.

For that reason, the vote results that determined the winners are available on the AJAC web site,, for use by consumers as a resource buying guide when researching the purchase of a new car, truck, SUV, or CUV for 2009. (Still looking to buy a 2008 new car?  AJAC archives the comparative test data and vote results from previous years on its website.)

For more information on the 2009 Canadian Car of the Year Awards, either visit the AJAC web site (, call the AJAC office at 1-800-361-1516, or send an e-mail to

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