As is tradition, the first day of the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto also marks the day the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) announces the winner of the Canadian Car of the Year, and Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year.
This year, the 2016 Honda Civic took CCOTY honours, marking the first time the same model has won two contests. 10 years ago almost to the day, the 2006 Civic also won. Indeed, having taken part in the voting process, I can say that the Civic’s win is hardly surprising. Judging by conversations with colleagues, the Japanese compact sedan was a favorite from the get-go. It beat out the Volkswagen Golf R, VW Golf Sportwagen, Mercedes-AMG C-Class C 63 S, and Mercedes-AMG GT S for top honours.
The winner of the CUVOTY winner is a little more surprising, if only because Honda had an entrant, Honda is good at these types of vehicles, and Honda didn’t win. In fact, Honda’s HR-V and Pilot weren’t even finalists, but the surprises don’t stop there. Equally as surprising (perhaps even more so) than Honda’s defeat is the defeat of the Volvo XC90, which has been winning awards left, right and centre
It was the plucky little Mazda CX-3 that the took top honours, beating out the XC90, Ka Sorento and Chevrolet Silverado, thanks to its stylish looks, and good handling and value. This marks the second time in two years Mazda has come out on top; the Mazda6 sedan took CCOTY honours in 2014.