The Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) has just announced eight category winners for its Canadian Car and Utility Vehicle of the Year awards. The list holds six automakers, two repeat-winning models, and while normally the announcement would be made at one of the country's premier auto shows, this year it is was announced during the Montreal International Auto Show's new television broadcast.
Dozens of Canada's top automotive journalists from coast to coast cast their ballots each year to determine the winning cars, trucks, and SUVs. This year, more than 250 vehicles were eligible for consideration and voting, including new, revised, and carry-over models.
Best Mid-Size Car award for 2021 was taken by the Mazda3. It's a repeat win for the sedan and hatchback, which has long been praised for adding fun driving dynamics and premium interiors to its segment. For 2021, it added a 2.5L turbocharged engine with all-wheel drive that added even more sportiness to the model.
The winner of the Best Large Car award for 2021 is the Kia K5, Kia's all-new sedan that replaced the Optima. The new model offers much more modern styling and a host of tech features as well as all-wheel drive.
Taking the Best Mid-Size Premium Car award for 2021 is the Genesis G80. Hyundai's Genesis luxury brand is turning the luxury segments of the market on their heads much like Lexus did in the 1990s, offering vehicles that match the usual suspects but offer more value.
The Best Small Utility Vehicle for 2021 is the Subaru Crosstrek. The compact model bridges the gulf between crossover and wagon, offering buyers some of the best features of both segments. New for 2021, the Crosstrek added a new 2.5L engine, answering calls that the 2.0L was underpowered.
The winner of the Best Mid-Size Utility Vehicle award for 2021 is the all-new Nissan Rogue. The latest version of the crossover marked a massive change for the model that included more space and more tech on a new platform, all making it more family-friendly than before.
The Kia Telluride repeated its win as Best Large Utility Vehicle for 2021. It wasn't changed from last year, but what it offered then was top of the class and that remains true. It offers loads of family-friendly space, good value, and loads of amenities.
Genesis made its second appearance on the list with the GV80, which was named Best Mid-Size Premium Utility Vehicle for 2021. The brand's first crossover, like the sedan that shares its number, offers luxury buyers a new option with few compromises.
AJAC's winner for Best Full-Size Pickup Truck for 2021 is the Ram 1500. Ram's air suspension, excellent interiors, and available 12-inch screen all help make this truck an award winner.
These eight vehicles now qualify to be named 2021 Canadian Car of the Year or 2021 Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year. The awards will be presented in March.