The Civic was the odds-on favourite to win, while the CX-3 beat out the well-regarded Volvo XC90.
By: Jim Kenzie Special to the Star, Published on Thu Feb 11 2016
The Honda Civic has been chosen as the 2016 Canadian Car of the Year by the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), and the Mazda CX-3 won Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year.
The announcement was made Thursday morning ahead of the opening of the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto.
The other two finalists in the car category were the Volkswagen Golf R and the Volkswagen Golf Sportwagon.
In the AJAC evaluation process (described below), one category is “Market Significance.” By that count alone, the winner of AJAC’s Best New Small Car in the over $21,000 category had to be a favourite, given it has been Canada’s best-selling car for 18 years.
The new Civic is a significant departure from the previous model. Increased interior space, more styling character and a revised suspension for sportier handling add to traditional Civic traits of comfort, reliability and value.
The 174 horsepower turbocharged engine in EX-T and Touring models provides more entertaining urge when the pedal is pressed.
A Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), usually not a precursor to driving enjoyment, reacts with more precision than most.
It all suggests that the Civic will add one more notch to its metaphoric lipstick case when sales results for 2016 are tabulated.
It is also appropriate that Canada’s Car of the Year is actually assembled in Canada, at Honda’s Alliston, Ont. plant.