Canadian Car of the Year Finalists Revealed! We Make Our Picks!

ajacThose lucky ducks that have coveted AJAC (Automobile Journalists Association of Canada) memberships all recently got together to rate the best new car of the year from the Canadian perspective for 2010. They tested them, rated them, and broke down the finalists into five categories.

Since Car Driven is literally only hours old as we write this, it seems a bit premature to have our own COTY awards. So instead, we’ll just use AJAC’s finalists and make our own picks.

Find out the finalists and our picks after the jump!

Ford walked away with both North American Car of the Year Awards with their Ford Transit courier van and the new Fusion, but the non-government funded American brand only finds themselves with two nominations.

And the finalists are:

2010 Canadian Car of the Year:

  • BMW 335d
  • Volkswagen Golf GTI
  • Volkswagen Golf Wagon TDI

Our Pick: BMW 335d – The only thing wrong with this car is it comes with an automatic transmission only. That’s seriously its only fault. If you’ve never tried this diesel before, or have second thoughts about owning a diesel, do yourself a favour and go drive one. It features 265 hp and 425 (!) lb-foot torque with a combined rating of 9.4 L /100 kms. Combine that with BMW’s obsession for perfect handling, stunning looks and excellent luxury and you’ve got yourself one ultimate driving machine for sure.

2010 Canadian Utility of the Year:

  • Lexus 450h
  • Subaru Outback
  • Volkswagen Touareg TDI Clean Diesel

Our Pick: Subaru Outback– It was quite the toss up between the Outback and the VW, but we like how Subaru proves again and again that a nice wagon can do anything that an SUV can do, and sometimes even do it better. It’s unique styling, AWD, versatility and reasonable price makes it a great all year round vehicle perfectly suited for Canadians.

NOTE: Our pick could very well change for this category since we will be testing a VW Touareg TDI this coming week. Watch for the review very soon!

Best New Design:

  • Audi A5 Cabriolet
  • BMW 335d
  • Ford Taurus (including SHO)

Our Pick: Audi A5 Cabriolet – Mostly any convertible looks decent at the very least with the top down, but the A5 really makes a case for being a work of art. It’s stunning. We think the coupe version looks even better. Audi manages to make an eye-catcher without being too flashy (okay, minus those LED headlights). They made a simple graceful design, muscular lines, and a classic side profile. This is the convertible to be seen in.

Brand New Technology

  • Audi Canada Drive Select
  • Ford Motor Company of Canada MyKey
  • Volvo City Safety

Our Pick: Volvo City Safety – After personally experiencing the XC60 stop itself, without any aid from the brakes or the driver, from colliding with an object we came away seriously impressed. Leave it to Volvo to come up with technology such as this. This technology can save thousands of dollars in repair costs, but more importantly can save serious injuries and the headaches that go long with fender benders.

Best New Green Technology:

  • Ford Next Generation Hybrid System and Smartguage
  • Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid with Lithium-ion batteries
  • Toyota/Lexus Plant-Based Ecological Plastics
  • Toyota/Lexus Beltless Atkinson Cycle Engine with Cooled Exhaust

Our Pick: Ford Next Generation Hybrid System and Smartgauge – The Nissan Altima Hybrid is rated at 5.6L/100 kms city. The Toyota Camry Hybrid is rated at 5.7L/100 kms city. The Ford Focus Hybrid is rated at 4.6L/100 kms city. That’s seriously impressive. It’s even better mileage than a Smart Fortwo! The Smartgauge even helps you to beat that rating as it trains you how to drive more efficiently and get the best out of your tank.

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