In case you missed the ceremony, last week the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada announced the winners of its annual Canadian Car of The Year Awards. More than 70 automotive journalists met last October for TestFest. AJAC members put 57 new models through rigorous driving tests and picked winners in 11 categories.
The Hyundai Elantra was named Canadian Car of the Year. The Volkswagen Touareg TDI Clean Diesel scored Utility Vehicle of The Year. Surprisingly, Best New SUV-CUV over $60,000 went to the BMW X3. The Hyundai Accent won Best New Small Car under $21,000.
It caused quite a stir.
I’d like to say that I share the enthusiasm but, personally, I find the Canadian Car of the Year Awards to be entirely suspect. It lacks credibility. For starters, AJAC never contacted me to get involved in the evaluation process. Now, I’ve never contacted it or made any attempt to be involved with the organization but that shouldn’t stop it from reaching out to me. Maybe AJAC needs to grow up a bit and realize that, in order to make it in this business, you need to get over your own petty ego.
Then again, AJAC might say that you could fit everything I know about automobile manufacturing in a louse-sized iPhone. Fair enough, I may be totally unqualified to evaluate a tricycle, let alone a car. I may have so little real understanding of how cars work that, if you were to convert my ignorance into pure energy, you could use it to set off three or four nuclear explosions.
That just makes me your average driver.
Truth is the automobile industry isn’t sustained by savvy drivers who know a lot about cars; It’s sustained by folks who are praying they’re not getting too ripped off by the salesman (they’ll accept a little gouging) and who pick a vehicle, not because it has a 2.4L L4 DOHC 16-valve engine, but because it comes in “Majestic Blue.”
That’s why I am starting my own car awards. If the AJAC “Canadian Car of The Year Awards” are the Oscars of automobile awards, then mine will be the Golden Globes, the people’s awards (if by “people” you mean “me”).
So, I now present please the “Road Sage 2012 Canadian Automobile Car Awards (CACA).” Real awards for real drivers.
Car Most Likely to Pass You on the Right: Any orange car.
You don’t see many bright orange cars. That’s because most of them are consumed in fiery crashes long before they have a chance to be sighted. Remember the old saying, “Orange car. Death.”
Best Dinosaur-Sounding Car: Hyundai Veloster
Worst Driver, Feb. 14, 2012: I was turning left and this guy blew through the intersection and as he did he screamed curses at me. He was in his 60s and was wearing a baseball cap and had a horrid grey mustache. Hands down the worst driver of Feb. 14, 2012.
Car Most Likely to Be Mistaken for a Car: Kia Optima Hybrid. Why? I don’t know. I just reject cars that think they’re so great they call themselves “Optima.” The “Kia Middling” would be lest boastful and make the car more attractive to modest Canadian consumers.
Ultimate 2012 Winner’s Car: 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan. “You can have it all.”
Best Bumper Sticker: “Lost? Such is the Human Condition.”
Best Driving Song: Journey’s Lights.
Whether you’re driving to something you like or driving away from something you hate, Steve Perry (“the Voice”) will send you merrily on your way.
Car Actor Steve McQueen Would Most Likely Set on Fire Were He Still Alive: Toyota Avalon.
Best Car: 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle LS6 Convertible
Best Car Over $60,000: three 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle LS6 Convertibles
Best Fuel Economy: Bicycle.
Car Most Likely To Take Two Parking Spaces: BMW Series Whatever.
Best Luxury Car: Lexus CT200. Any car that could have been a character on Star Trek: The Next Generation is okay with me.
That’s the lot.
Now, I want to be clear. By starting the CACAs I am not declaring war on AJAC. I’m not, by nature, a confrontational person. I am merely exercising my free speech. There is room for two highly respected automobile awards in this country. One run by qualified experts, after intensive testing, and the other by me.
Follow Andrew Clark on Twitter: @aclarkcomedy