AJAC, the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada, has just announced their Canadian Car of the Year award winners for 2017. The Canadian Car of the Year is the Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen Alltrack and the Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year for 2017 is the Subaru Forester.
The Forester got a refresh this year that included some new styling, the newest version of Subaru's Eyesight that includes lane-keeping assist plus an enhanced pre-collision braking system, and the addition of a heated steering wheel. Jurors loved the interior space, excellent visibility, and off-road ability.
Volkswagen's Golf Sportwagen Alltrack is an all-new model this year. It takes the familiar and spacious Golf Sportwagen then adds some extra ride height and other changes to add off-road capability to the all-wheel drive system. Jurors rated it the best because of usability, interior refinement, and driving dynamics.
Every year, member journalists from across the country get together to test the eligible new or significantly improved cars, trucks, and SUVs. Those cars, trucks, SUVs and vans are then placed into eight categories based on size, vehicle type, and price. The vehicles in each group are driven back-to-back on real roads by the judges. The vehicles are then scored on 21 separate criteria including safety features, performance, and even cargo space. The ballots are then tabulated and kept secret until the announcements are made. The winners of each class were announced last December. From those class winners, scores are tallied and an overall car and utility vehicle (SUV, truck, or van) are chosen.
This year, the other finalists for Canadian Car of the Year were the BMW M2, Buick Lacrosse, Hyundai Elantra, and the Hyundai Elantra Sport. Utility Vehicle of the Year runners-up were the Chrysler Pacifica and the Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 4Matic.