Honda Fit Wins AJAC's 2009 Best New Design Award



    TORONTO, Feb. 11 /CNW/ - The Honda Fit won the "Best New Design" award
for 2009 as presented by the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada
(AJAC). The award was handed out as part of the 2009 Canadian Car of the Year
(CCOTY) awards that opened the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto.
    "We thank the AJAC members for this design award," said Jerry Chenkin,
Executive Vice President of Honda Canada Inc. "We built the Fit to meet the
needs of our customers, and their response has been overwhelmingly positive.
The Fit combines a sleek, aerodynamic design for enhanced fuel efficiency with
a roomy interior for excellent passenger and cargo space, proving that great
style and value are not mutually exclusive attributes."
    Canadian independent designer Paul Deutschman, Humber College automotive
design professors Ken Cummings, and Bruce Thomson, as well as Automobile
magazine's design critic Robert Cumberford were appointed by AJAC as a panel
of design experts. Their task was a difficult one: create a short-list of four
"Best New Design" finalists from the full-slate of fifty-six entries in the
Canadian Car of the Year awards program.
    Their top four finalists were the Audi A4 ("Distinguished as it is on the
outside, it is the superbly finished interior of the A 4 that lifts it well
above its class rivals. That the model offers a wide variety of powertrains is
icing on the cake. Despite its compact size, the A 4 has real presence and
provides is owner with a real sense of occasion." - Robert Cumberford), the
Honda Fit ("It speaks well of Honda's far sightedness when they triumphed on
the market in the mid-Seventies with a little hatchback (then called the
Civic).... over 30 years later their little hatchbacks are still flying off
the dealers lots. Every generation needs an affordable, efficient, honest
workhorse and this is the best available in North America" - Paul Deutschman),
the Jaguar XF Supercharged ("Ian Callum and his team have designed a car which
is patently "Jaguar", yet they have managed to do so without trotting out old
names or hackneyed design motifs." - Bruce Thomson), and the Volkswagen Passat
CC ("The Volkswagen Passat CC represents an opportunity for regular folks to
drive a Teutonic, elegant, four-door sedan with more than a passing
resemblance to its German competitors for half the price."- Ken Cummings).
    AJAC journalists then selected the winner from the design expert's
short-list based on a combination of aesthetics, function, and brand essence.
Each parameter was rated separately for each of the design finalists. The
aesthetics score reflects the sheer beauty of the design. The function score
assesses the manner and degree to which it accommodates the practical
requirements of the vehicle type. And brand essence considers its success in
conveying the image, heritage, and values of the specific brand.
    "The intent of the AJAC Best New Design award is to identify and reward
the vehicle that exhibits the best balance of form and function", said Richard
Russell, chair of AJAC's 2009 Canadian Car of the Year awards.
    AJAC's annual Canadian Car of the Year awards program was created in 1985
with the purpose of providing consumers with sound, comparative information on
vehicles that are new to the market.
    For that reason, the vote results that determined today's winners are
available to consumers as a resource buying guide on the AJAC web site. Also
available are the comparative test data derived from the journalists'
extensive five day evaluation of over 160 new vehicles in Niagara-on-the-Lake,
Ontario in October. This annual event is known in the industry as "TestFest".
Shell Canada is the official fuel supplier of the event.
    The rigorous TestFest evaluation program includes real world driving on
public roads - exactly where consumers drive so that the test and vote results
posted to the AJAC web site are directly relevant to potential car and truck
buyers.
    Still looking to buy a 2008, 2007, or even a 2006 vehicle? AJAC archives
the comparative test data from previous years on its web site.
    Photos from today's award announcements, the October 24th category
winners, and the TestFest evaluation event, are available for print and
broadcast media under - Canadian Car of the Year - Photo Gallery - on the AJAC
web site.
    In addition, our AJAC journalists who evaluated the brand new models at
TestFest are available across Canada for interviews to talk about the vote
results and comparative data. Media are invited to visit the AJAC web site and
log-in under "Ask An Expert", then choose the "Media" link to access interview
information once validation has occurred.

    This press release was distributed by the CNW Group: AJAC's official
newswire service.





For further information:

For further information: on the 2009 Canadian Car of the Year Awards,
either visit our AJAC web site at www.ajac.ca, call the AJAC office at
1-800-361-1516, or send us an email: beth@ajac.ca

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