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2012 Scion iQ. (Bill Petro/Richard Russell for The Globe and Mail)
2012 Scion iQ. (Bill Petro/Richard Russell for The Globe and Mail)

The List

AJAC testing the best new cars for 2012 Add to ...

It’s the Canadian auto industry’s version of the Academy Awards. Well, no. Not really.

The glitz, the glamour, the red carpets, the starlets, Jack Nicholson, Jack Nicholson with starlets, there won’t be any of that. However, members of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada treat the task of selecting the 2012 Canadian Car of The Year as seriously as members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences do their movies.

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AJAC’s TestFest takes places at the Niagara District Airport in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., for four days starting next Tuesday. Fifty-seven vehicles in 11 categories will be put through their paces to determine each category winner. These will be announced on Oct. 28. From the category winner list, the Canadian Car of The Year and the Canadian Utility Vehicle of The Year will be unveiled at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto in February.

The Chevrolet Cruze and the Ford Edge were the 2011 car and utility vehicle winners.

Below are the models nominated for 2012:

2012 Kia Rio.

Small Car under $21,000

  • Chevrolet Sonic Sedan
  • Fiat 500
  • Honda Civic Sedan
  • Hyundai Accent
  • Kia Rio5
  • Nissan Versa Sedan
  • Scion iQ

2012 Chevrolet Sonic 5-door.

Small Car over $21,000

  • Chevrolet Sonic 5-Door
  • Ford Focus
  • Hyundai Elantra
  • Subaru Impreza
  • Volkswagen Beetle

2012 Mazda5

Family Car under $30,000

  • Chevrolet Orlando
  • Chrysler 200
  • Kia Optima LX
  • Mazda 5
  • Toyota Camry
  • Volkswagen Passat TDI Clean Diesel

Chevrolet Volt

Family Car over $30,000

  • Chevrolet Volt
  • Dodge Charger
  • Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
  • Kia Optima Hybrid
  • Mini Countryman
  • Toyota Prius V

Acura TL

Luxury Car

  • Acura TL
  • Buick Lacrosse eAssist
  • Chrysler 300s
  • Infiniti M35h
  • Lexus CT200
  • Mercedes-Benz C-Class C350 4Matic Sedan

Hyundai Veloster

Sports Performance (under $50,000)

  • Buick Regal GS
  • Dodge Charger SRT8
  • Honda Civic SI
  • Hyundai Veloster
  • Kia Optima SX
  • Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe
  • Volkswagen Jetta GLI

2012 Porsche Cayman R

Sports Performance (over $50,000)

  • BMW 1-Series M Coupe
  • Chevrolet Camaro Convertible
  • Chrysler 300 SRT8
  • Hyundai Genesis R-Spec
  • Mercedes- Benz CLS Class
  • Porsche Cayman R

Jaguar XKR.


  • BMW 6-Series Cabriolet
  • Jaguar XKR-S
  • Mercedes-Benz S-Class S350 BlueTec 4Matic

Jeep Compass

SUV-CUV (under $35,000)

  • Dodge Journey
  • Jeep Compass
  • Jeep Wrangler

Dodge Durango

SUV-CUV ($35,000-$60,000)

  • BMW X1
  • Dodge Durango
  • Ford Explorer
  • Range Rover Evoque
  • Volkswagen Touareg TDI


SUV-CUV (over $60,000)

  • BMW X3
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8
  • Mercedes-Benz M-Class

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