Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

TestFest for the best

Auto journalists to put new vehicles through their paces, hand out awards

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It's that time of year again, folks, time for the Canadian Car of the Year awards program, held at the Niagara District Airport near Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ont.

Throughout the five-day event, known in the automotive industry as TestFest, Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) members from across the country will evaluate and grade 2013 models that are either all new or significantly redesigned for the model year.

Fellow Free Press AUTOS writer and TestFest veteran Haney Louka and I have been invited back again to test the best. We arrive in Ontario on Sunday and begin testing first thing Monday morning.

Every year, automotive journalists from across Canada gather for a comprehensive four-day, new-vehicle evaluation.

This year, a total of 60 new models in 11 categories are eligible for the awards.

The purpose of these evaluations is to select the best new vehicles in various categories as well as an overall Car of the Year and Utility Vehicle of the Year. A Best New Technology award and the Best New Design award are also given.

Journalists are assembled in teams and perform back-to-back tests on the same roads and under the same conditions to ensure objective evaluation. There is also a test track flanked with pylons on the airport runway that allows us to test the vehicles' handling and acceleration in a safe, controlled environment.

The winners will be announced at a press conference next Friday and will be available at

You can also follow Willy's TestFest adventure at



Luxury Car, Sports/Performance over $50K and SUV/CUV $35-60K


Family Car over $30K, SUV/CUV under $35K and Luxury Car




1. Ford Focus EV

2. Mitsubishi i-MiEV


1. Chevrolet Spark

2. Dodge Dart

3. Kia Rio LX

4. Mazda3 Skyactiv (sedan)

5. Nissan Sentra

6. Toyota Prius c


1. Chevrolet Sonic LTZ 5-dr Hatch

2. Ford CMAX Hybrid

3. Hyundai Elantra GT

4. Mazda3 Sport Skyactiv (hatchback)

5. Volkswagen Beetle

FAMILY CAR under $30K

1. Chevrolet Malibu Eco

2. Ford Fusion

3. Honda Accord sedan

4. Mitsubishi Lancer AWC

5. Nissan Altima


1. Chevrolet Malibu

2. Ford Fusion Hybrid

3. Mercedes-Benz B-250

4. Toyota Prius PHV (plug-in)


1. Acura ILX

2. BMW 3-Series

3. Buick Verano

4. Cadillac ATS

5. Lexus ES350

6. Lexus GS


1. Chevrolet Sonic RS 5-door

2. Fiat Abarth

3. Ford Focus ST

4. Honda Accord Coupe

5. Hyundai Genesis Coupe

6. Hyundai Veloster Turbo

7. MINI Roadster

8. Scion FR-S

9. Subaru BRZ

10. Volkswagen Golf R


1. Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

2. Ford Shelby Mustang

3. Mercedes-Benz SLK 55

4. Porsche Boxster


1. BMW M5

2. Chevrolet Corvette 427

3. Porsche 911 Carrera S

4. Mercedes-Benz SL 550

SUV/CUV under $35K

1. Chevrolet Trax

2. Ford Escape 1.6L EcoBoost

3. Honda CR-V

4. Hyundai Santa Fe Sport

5. Mazda CX-5

6. Subaru XV Crosstrek

SUV/CUV $35K-$60K

1. Acura RDX

2. Chevrolet Traverse

3. Ford Escape 2.0L

4. GMC Terrain Denali

5. Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.0T

6. Infiniti JX

7. Lexus RX350

8. Nissan Pathfinder

TOTAL: 60 entries

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 19, 2012 F5

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