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Hyundai Elantra named 2012 Canadian Car of the Year

Korean automaker takes home three of 11 “Best New” categories


February 16, 2012
by Canadian Manufacturing Daily Staff

TORONTO:The Hyundai Elantra has been declared the 2012 Canadian Car of the Year by the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) at the Canadian International Auto Show.

The Korean automaker won three of the 11 “Best New” categories when announced in October 2011.

The Elantra, also named “Best New Small Car over $21,000”, packs 148hp in a 16 valve, 4-cylinder engine with a combined fuel economy of 6.0L/100km.

With sales of 44,930 units, the Elantra was the second best-selling passenger car in Canada during 2011.

John Vermile, vice-president of marketing for Hyundai Canada, says incorporating similar designs in both the interior and exterior of the Elantra were looked at closely.

“The interior door trim panel mimics the fluidic design of the car’s exterior,” he says.

The win comes just over a month after the car was named the 2012 North American car of the year at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, where it edged out the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Passat.

Hyundai Auto Canada president Steve Kelleher called the win a “vindication for all the effort Hyundai designers and engineers invested into the project.”

He says the company wanted to provide drivers with a new take on the compact sedan, incorporating style, quality, safety, and fuel efficiency.

It’s the second time in four years that a Hyundai has won both awards back-to-back—the Genesis luxury sedan earned both titles in 2009.

The Volkswagen Touareg TDI Clean Diesel was named the Canadian utility vehicle of the year and the Hyundai Veloster won best new design at today’s media event.

Each year, the association names the best new cars in eight categories following an intensive one-week event known as “Test Fest.”

From those eight winners, three finalists are selected before the highest-rated vehicle is chosen as the top vehicle by The Automobile Journalists Association of Canada.

Hyundai Auto Canada, headquartered in Markham, Ont., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Company of Korea.