AJAC names Canadian Car of the Year 2019 finalists
A row of cars await testing for the CCOTY 2019 program. Photo by Benjamin Yong.
The Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) gets one step closer to naming its 2019 Canadian Car of the Year and Utility Vehicle of the year. AJAC combed through over 1,500 ballots submitted during a six-month period where members drove and evaluated the newest models available to consumers. Below are three finalists from different segments. Winners will be announced at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto on Feb. 4.
Large car: Toyota Avalon
This flagship Toyota Sedan is North American conceived and assembled, built on the current global platform that is stiffer, lighter and quieter than the previous. Sold in sporty XSE and luxurious Limited grades, both feature a 14-speaker JBL SiriusXM-enabled stereo, dual-zone climate control and a 3.5-litre Atkinson cycle V6 motor mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The full suite of Toyota Safety Sense P. is offered, including collision mitigation, autonomous braking, radar cruise control and more.
Small utility: Hyundai Kona
The first subcompact crossover from Hyundai is a real looker, possessing a unique separated daytime running light and headlamp setup, muscular body panels and an affordable starting price of $20,999. A seven-inch display, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and heated front seats are all standard. Higher trim levels are equipped with a 1.6-litre turbocharged engine makes 175 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque.
Mid-Size premium utility: Infinti QX50
Referred to by Infiniti global VP Christian Meunier as, “The most important vehicle we have ever launched,” the QX50 debuts a number of new technologies. Among them is the brand’s VC-Turbo mill, which has the ability to adjust compression ratio on the fly, essentially delivering the power of a boosted 2.0-litre with the torque and efficiency of a four-cylinder diesel. Also being introduced is ProPILOT Assist capable of controlling acceleration, braking and steering duties in single-lane highway driving.
Other finalists include:
Genesis G70 (mid-size premium car)
Honda Insight (small car)
Hyundai Santa Fe (large utility)
Lexus LS (large premium car)
Mazda6 (large car)
Mazda CX-5 (mid-size utility)
Mazda CX-9 (large utility)
Mazda MX-5 (sports-performance car)
Mercedes-Benz C 300 (mid-size premium car)
Mercedes-Benz E 400 (mid-size premium car)
Toyota Corolla (small car)
Volkswagen e-Golf (EV)
Volkswagen Golf R (sports-performance car)