AJAC awards category winners for best vehicles 2014

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Winners included the Mazda3 for Best New Small Car under $21,000 and Best New Small Car over $21,000, Mazda Sport. The Mazda6 won for Best New Family Car over $30,000.

Kia vehicles took the Best New Family Car under $30,000 while the Sorento won for the Best New SUV/CUV $35,000-$60,000.

GM’s Corvette and Sierra won for Sports-Performance and Pickup, respectively.

The Mercedes-Benz S Class and Lexus IS 350 RWD were among the luxury category winners.

Categories run the gamut from the Best Small Car and Best New Family Car to Best New Prestige Car and SUV/CUV over $50,000.

The Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) is an association of professional journalists, writers and photographers whose focus is on the automobile and the automotive industry.

AJAC prides itself on what it says are “real-world back-to-back testing so that the results have relevance for consumers,” which means “rigorous” testing on public roads – “exactly where consumers drive, making the tests and awards relevant to potential car and truck buyers.

“Every member of a test team compares each vehicle in its class, back-to-back, on the same roads, under the same conditions to ensure objective evaluation,” AJAC says.

“Team members use a detailed rating form, comprising 21 separate evaluation parameters that include acceleration, braking, vehicle dynamics, maneuverability, even off-road capability, where applicable. Every detail, from safety features to cargo capacity, is thoroughly scrutinized, discussed, and individually rated by secret ballot.”

International accounting firm KPMG tabulates the ballots keeps them confidential -- even from AJAC – until the awards press conferences where the winners are announced.

Test Fest took place in Niagara, Ont., in October.