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    AJAC DECLARES THE BEST FOR 2009 IN 14 CATEGORIES

    NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, ON, Oct. 24 /CNW/ - After five days of intense
testing, the 2009 "Best New" AJAC award winners in 14 different vehicle
categories were announced today, October 24, 2008, by the Automobile
Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) at a press conference held at the
Niagara District Airport.
    The purpose of the AJAC awards is to provide consumers with a valuable
resource that comprises comparative information on vehicles that are new to
the market.
    Are consumers listening? It would appear so.
    Maritz Research, on behalf of AJAC and in association with General Motors
of Canada Ltd., conducted a survey of 2008 Buick Enclave purchasers to test
their recognition of AJAC, the AJAC awards and the Buick Enclave as the winner
of the Best New SUV Over $60,000 award for 2008.
    Fully 74% of the 2008 Buick Enclave buyers who were aware of the AJAC
Awards program when they purchased their vehicles knew that the Enclave was
voted Best New SUV Over $60,000 - a record high-point for awareness. And of
those buyers, 41% said the award had a positive influence on their buying
decision.
    That is a concrete measure of how influential the AJAC Canadian Car of
the Year Awards have become.
    For that reason, the vote results that determined today's winners are
available on the AJAC web site www.ajac.ca, for use by consumers as a resource
buying guide when researching the purchase of a new car, truck, SUV, or CUV
for 2009.

    
    The 2009 category winners are:

    BEST NEW SMALL CAR (under $18k):
    Toyota Corolla

    BEST NEW SMALL CAR (over $18k):
    Pontiac Vibe

    BEST NEW FAMILY CAR ($22k-$30k):
    Mazda6

    BEST NEW FAMILY CAR (over $30k):
    Volkswagen Passat CC

    BEST NEW LUXURY CAR (under $50k):
    Hyundai Genesis

    BEST NEW LUXURY CAR (over $50k):
    Audi A4

    BEST NEW PRESTIGE CAR:
    Mercedes CL 550 and Mercedes SL 63 AMG (tie)

    BEST NEW SPORTS/PERFORMANCE CAR (under $50k):
    BMW 135i Coupe

    BEST NEW SPORTS/PERFORMANCE CAR (over $50k):
    Lexus IS F

    BEST NEW CONVERTIBLE:
    Audi TTS

    BEST NEW PICKUP TRUCK:
    Dodge Ram

    BEST NEW SUV/CUV (under $35k):
    Subaru Forester

    BEST NEW SUV/CUV ($35k-$60k):
    Ford Flex

    BEST NEW SUV/CUV (over $60k):
    Mercedes-Benz M-Class BlueTEC
    

    The fourteen category winners listed above now go on to compete for the
honour of being either the 2009 Canadian Car of the Year or the 2009 Canadian
Utility Vehicle of the Year. These overall winners will be announced on
February 11th, 2009, at the 2009 Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto,
Ontario. The 2009 Best New Design and Best New Technology winners will also be
declared at that time.
    And there's more... 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 "Car of the Year" link
for interviews once they've been validated.
    Photos from the TestFest evaluation program, and from the press
conference, are also available for print and broadcast media on the AJAC web
site.
    Still looking to buy a 2008 new car? AJAC archives the comparative test
data and vote results from previous years on its web site.




For further information:

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


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