"As car awards go I personally believe that the Automobile Journalists of Canada (AJAC) serve our industry very well. Their testing process is very thorough and fair involving journalists who evaluate a very wide spectrum of vehicles through the year and thus know how to evaluate a complex product."
- Dennis DesRosiers of DesRosiers Automotive Consultants
AJAC Canadian Car of the Year
2023 AJAC Canadian Car of the Year: Category Winners
Best Small Car in Canada for 2023: Mazda3
Best Large Premium Car in Canada for 2023: Genesis G90
Best Performance Car in Canada for 2023: Hyundai Elantra N
Best Small Utility Vehicle in Canada for 2023: Toyota Corolla Cross
Best Mid-Size Utility Vehicle in Canada for 2023: Mitsubishi Outlander
Best Large Utility Vehicle in Canada for 2023: Kia Telluride
Best Mid-Size Premium Utility Vehicle in Canada for 2023: Lexus NX
Best Large Premium Utility Vehicle in Canada for 2023: Volvo XC90
Best Small Pick-up Truck in Canada for 2023: Ford Maverick
Best Large Pick-up Truck in Canada for 2023: Ram 1500
Best EV in Canada for 2023: Hyundai IONIQ 5
Best Premium EV in Canada for 2023: BMW i4
Key to the Canadian Car of the Year awards program is an annual event known in the Canadian automotive industry as “TestFest”.
To supplement their year-round testing and assessment of eligible Canadian Car of the Year vehicles, every October the top automotive journalists from across Canada gather for additional evaluations of current models available to the Canadian market.
Their purpose? To select the best new vehicles in various categories as well as an overall Canadian Car of the Year and Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year. The evaluation is based on "real-world" testing so that the results have relevance for consumers.
In other words, the rigorous testing program includes driving on public roads – exactly where consumers drive - so that the tests and vote results are relevant to potential car and truck buyers.
Team members use a detailed rating form, comprising various evaluation parameters that include acceleration, braking, vehicle dynamics, maneuverability, even off-road capability, where applicable. Each parameter is rated using a prescribed 0 – 10 rating scale.
Every detail, from safety features to cargo capacity, is thoroughly scrutinized, discussed, and individually rated by secret ballot.
Those ballots are then tabulated by the international accounting firm KPMG. The results are kept confidential -- even from AJAC -- until the awards press conferences wherein the category and overall winners are announced.