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2019 Canadian Car of the Year & Utility of the Year Finalists Announced

New Cars Auto News 2019 Canadian Car of the Year & Utility of the Year Finalists...

Winners announced at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto on February 14, 2019.

The Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) has revealed the three finalists in each of 12 vehicle categories that will ultimately determine the 2019 Canadian Car of the Year and Utility Vehicle of the Year.

There are some fascinating battles right through the categories. In the Large Car class for example, Kia’s impressive new Stinger takes on two well established contenders, the Mazda6 and Toyota Avalon.

Another Korean newcomer, the Genesis G70, goes head-to-head with the Mercedes-Benz C 300 4MATIC Wagon and Mercedes-Benz E 400 4MATIC for the title of Mid-Size Premium Car.

And in the new Premium EV category, Jaguar’s first battery-electric vehicle, the I-PACE, is battling with Volvo’s S90 T8 and XC60 T8. Scroll down for the full list of finalists.

2019 canadian car of the year testing
Journalists drive the qualifying entries, which for the 2019 program comprise last year’s category winners competing against next-generation or significantly updated vehicles. Pic: AJAC

Awards history

The Canadian Car of the Year (CCOTY) awards are valued by car and truck buyers and highly respected by the auto makers themselves.

The program dates back to 1985, when Volkswagen’s Golf and Jetta were the Domestic and Import Sedans of the Year, the Saab 900 Turbo 16 was named Best New Sports Sedan and the Chrysler Magicwagon was awarded Best New Light Truck/Van/Utility!

Judging process

This year, some 1,500 ballots were submitted over more than six months by AJAC journalist members, who collectively comprise the most esteemed group of professional automotive media in Canada, with several contributors to TractionLife.com among their number.

2019 canadian car of the year testing SUVs
Vehicles can be evaluated in identical conditions on public roads, on a closed-road handling course, and on challenging off-road trails. Pic: AJAC

Journalists drive the qualifying entries, which for the 2019 program comprise last year’s category winners competing against next-generation or significantly updated vehicles, on the same roads and in the same conditions experienced by Canadian drivers from coast to coast.

In addition, AJAC members can attend the TestFest event in October, based at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Ontario. There, vehicles can be evaluated in identical conditions on public roads, on a closed-road handling course, on challenging off-road trails and – for sports and performance cars – on track.

What happens next?

The next step in the 2019 Canadian Car and Utility Vehicle of the Year awards comes when the winning vehicles in each of the 12 categories are announced on January 17, 2019, at the Montreal International Auto Show.

The overall winners will then be revealed as part of the opening ceremonies for the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto on February 14, 2019. It was here in 2018 that the Honda Accord and Chrysler Pacifica took home the trophies.

Finally, the Canadian Green Car and Utility Vehicle of the Year awards will be presented at the Vancouver International Auto Show on Tuesday, March 19, 2019. These eco-friendly machines will take over from the 2018 winners, the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Kia Niro.

2019 canadian car of the year ajac testing on track
The overall winners will then be revealed as part of the opening ceremonies for the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto on February 14, 2019. Pic: AJAC

2019 Canadian Car and Utility Vehicle of the Year Category Finalists

Best Small Car:

Honda Insight

Kia Forte

Toyota Corolla Hatchback

Best Large Car:

Kia Stinger

Mazda6

Toyota Avalon

Best Mid-Size Premium Car:

Genesis G70

Mercedes-Benz C 300 4MATIC Wagon

Mercedes-Benz E 400 4MATIC

Best Large Premium Car:

Lexus LS

Volvo V90 R-Design

Best Sports-Performance Car:

Ford Mustang

Mazda MX-5

Volkswagen Golf R

Best Small Utility:

Hyundai Kona

Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

Nissan Kicks

Also see: 2018 Best Small SUVs & Crossovers | Affordable SUVs to Luxury Models

Best Mid-Size Utility:

Jeep Cherokee

Mazda CX-5

Subaru Forester

Best Large Utility

Hyundai Santa Fe

Mazda CX-9

Subaru Ascent

Best Mid-Size Premium Utility:

Acura RDX

Alfa Romeo Stelvio

Infiniti QX50

Best Pick-up:

Chevrolet Silverado 1500

Ford F150 Diesel

Ram 1500

Also see: Best Mid-Size Trucks Right Now

Best EV:

Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

Nissan LEAF

Volkswagen e-Golf

Best Premium EV:

Jaguar I-PACE

Volvo S90 T8

Volvo XC60 T8

Graham Heeps
Based in Calgary, AB, Graham’s outlets include Autocar, Professional Motorsport World, Turnology.com and Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology. A lifelong motorsports fan, he’s a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), the Guild of Motoring Writers and the Motor Press Guild, speaks German and collects Matchbox cars (at the same time).