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Chevrolet Cruze wins Canadian car of the year award Add to ...

Chevrolet Cruze took top honours from the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) this year, winning the group's coveted 2011 Canadian Car of the Year award. The Ford Edge won the 2011 Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year.

When the "Best New" categories were announced in October, Ford won two of the 11 categories, while General Motors, Chevrolet's parent company, won three. The "best new" category winners were eligible to compete for the top prizes of car and utility vehicle of the year.

READ MORE: Click here for full coverage of the Canadian International Auto Show

The Canadian-built Ford Edge was the winner of the "Best SUV/CUV" in the $35,000 to $50,000 price range, while the Chevrolet Cruze won in the "Best New Small Car over $21,000" class.

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG won the "Best New Design" award for 2011, overtaking its two competitors, the Audi R8 Spyder and the Jaguar XJ Supercharged.

In a press release from AJAC, Richard Russell, Canadian Car of the Year Awards chair said: "We are extremely proud of the Canadian Car of the Year program. We have gained a great deal of experience and made continual adjustments to the program through the last twenty-six years as the market and vehicles have evolved. 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."

After testing each vehicle in a category at an even known as "TestFest" in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, AJAC testers vote on the vehicles, basing their opinion on more than 20 parameters. A variety of routes on public roads are used for testing, to simulate "real world" driving. AJAC's annual Canadian Car of the Year awards program was created in 1985.

Small cars are in fashion again, but consumers also demand style, comfort and technology, as well as fuel economy

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