Hyundai Elantra Named 2012 Canadian Car of the Year

TORONTO, Feb. 16, 2012 /CNW/ - In an early morning press conference at the opening of the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto, the Hyundai Elantra was declared the 2012 Canadian Car of the Year (CCOTY) by the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC).

"The all-new Elantra was simply the single most important new vehicle that Hyundai has ever launched," said Steve Kelleher, President and CEO, Hyundai Auto Canada Corp.  "The Elantra competes in Canada's critical compact segment, so for it to win Canadian Car of the Year is vindication for all the effort Hyundai designers and engineers invested into the project. We wanted to bring Canadians a new take on the compact sedan; one with great style, quality, safety and incredible fuel efficiency. So, we couldn't be more proud that AJAC agreed it should win Canada's highest automotive award."

Hyundai won three out of the eleven "Best New" categories when announced in October 2011.  All "Best New" category winners are eligible to compete for the overall crown of either the "Canadian Car of the Year" or the "Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year".  The Hyundai Elantra was also the winner in the "Best New Small Car over $21,000" class.

Consumers will have a chance to win a four-year lease of the 2012 Canadian Car of the Year thanks to a "Drive to Win" contest launched today by the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA).  The "Drive to Win" contest will run from February 16th to April 30th, 2012. Canadians can register on-site at the Canadian International Auto Show at the Eco-Drive Showcase presented by CAA South Central Ontario or online through the contest portal,

CAA and AJAC announced a partnership exactly one year ago at the 2011 Auto Show. The two associations joined forces with the goal of working together to provide Canadian consumers with better access to factual, ethical and honest information on automotive topics that matter to them.

"CAA's proud to partner with AJAC on the Canadian Car of the Year Awards program through the Drive to Win contest," said Jeff Walker, CAA vice-president of public affairs. "The Canadian Car of the Year program is a great source of accurate, comparative information on vehicles that are new to the market and we are pleased to be drawing additional attention to this valuable initiative."

For additional "Drive to Win" contest details and to submit your ballot visit

AJAC's Canadian Car of the Year Awards chair, Richard Russell, said:  "We are extremely proud of the Canadian Car of the Year program. The goal has always been to provide Canadian consumers with the most accurate, unbiased and useful information possible to assist them in making purchase decisions.  This is possible because of the participation of more than 70 experienced automotive reviewers, thorough evaluation procedures and the impartiality assured by secret ballots submitted to and tabulated by the international accounting firm of KPMG. "

Unlike other awards, AJAC's Canadian Car of the Year awards are not a popularity contest based on the opinions of a few people. AJAC's winners are determined on a combination of measured facts and subjective evaluations of more than 20 parameters by the journalists - more than 40,000 pieces of data in all. Most importantly, they are based on actual testing of the vehicles - back-to-back; on the same roads and in the same conditions on the same day.  The actual testing event takes place in Niagara-on-the-Lake every October and is known in the industry as "TestFest".  Shell Canada is the official fuel supplier of the event.

Photos from today's award announcements, the category winners' press conference, 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.

B-roll footage can be downloaded from

In addition, our AJAC journalists who evaluated the brand new models at TestFest are available across Canada for interviews to talk about the procedures, vote results and comparative data.   Media are invited to visit the AJAC web site and log-in under "Ask An AJAC 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.

SOURCE Automobile Journalists Association of Canada

For further information:

For more information on the 2012 Canadian Car of the Year Awards, either visit our AJAC web site at, call the AJAC office at 1.705.924.3444, or send us an email:


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