In a live reveal this morning at the fantastic John Basset Theatre in downtown Toronto, the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada announced the Canadian Car/Utility Vehicle of the Year.
As I have for the past number of years, I had the honour of announcing the Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year, which for 2017 is the Subaru Forester. Program director David Taylor joined me in the announcement, by crowning the Volkswagen Alltrack the Canadian Car of the Year.
Since 1985, AJAC has named the Canadian Car of the Year as a tool to aid consumers who are researching a new vehicle purchase. As the program has evolved over the years, the Canadian Truck of the Year distinction was added and then morphed into the Utility title in a nod to the increasing presence of crossover vehicles into the light truck segment.
A full year of planning goes into the award each year, the highlight of which is the annual Testfest event, where Canada’s top automotive journalists spend the better part of a week evaluating vehicles. Of course the awards ceremony is the most visible and important aspect of the program, but while a week of testing cars is actually work, it is good fun too.
This was the program’s first year on the stage in the stunning John W.H. Basset theatre, having opened the show in past years, in a secondary hall in the South building of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. The announcements followed the global unveiling of Aston Martin’s stunning new AM-RB 001 concept vehicle. The combination of the two events kicked off the show in a fashion more in keeping with some of the more prominent shows on the global circuit. More on that in a story to follow.