AJAC names 11 ‘Best New’ vehicles for 2011

 Seventy of Canada’s top automotive journalists spent one week last month in the picturesque tourist town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, but not for the scenery or the wine tasting. The journalists, all members of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), were there for the express purpose of determining the Best New cars and SUV/CUVs in 11 different vehicle categories as part of AJAC’s annual Canadian Car of the Year Awards program.

The four days of intensive, back-to-back testing and evaluation are known in the automotive industry as “Test Fest.” The results of the journalists’ test-drive evaluations were as follows:

Best New Small Car (under $21k)—Ford Fiesta

Best New Small Car (over $21k)—Chevrolet Cruze

Best New Family Car (under $30k)—Volkswagen Jetta TDI Clean Diesel

Best New Family Car (over $30k)—Buick Regal

Best New Luxury Car (over $50k)—BMW 5 Series Sedan

Best New Prestige Car (over $75k)—Porsche 911 Turbo S

Best New Sports/Performance Car—Cadillac CTS-V Coupe

Best New Minivan—Toyota Sienna

Best New SUV/CUV (under $35k)—Hyundai Tucson

Best New SUV/CUV ($35k-$50k)—Ford Edge

Best New SUV/CUV (over $50k)—Volkswagen Touareg.

The results were compiled by the international accounting firm, KPMG and kept confidential even from AJAC until they were announced at a press conference on October 29. More than 40,000 individual data points established in the testing of 144 different vehicles determined the list of winners.