Mazda6, Jeep Cherokee take AJAC top honours


In one of the tightest races ever for the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) annual Car of the Year award, the 2014 Mazda6 took top spot beating its cousin, the Mazda3, and the flashier Corvette Stingray.

The award, announced yesterday morning, was the first event in a long day of reveals and press conferences at the 2014 Canadian International AutoShow in Toronto.

“Today, the Mazda6, our flagship vehicle, etched its name in history by winning the overall AJAC Car of the Year award,” said Kory Koreeda, president, Mazda Canada. “This impressive achievement confirms what we already knew - the 2014 Mazda6 is nothing short of a game changer, once again raising the bar and outclassing other cars in its segment.”

The winner had an overall score of 765, besting the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray by just one point. Mazda3 came in third with 762.

AJAC contends rather grandly that its Canadian Car of the Year nod is one of “the most coveted automotive awards in the automotive industry.”

The 2014 Mazda6 has a starting MSRP of $24,495 and features a SKYACTIV-G 2.5-liter gasoline engine that produces 184 horsepower at 5,700 rpm and 185 lb-ft of torque at 3,250 rpm.  Standard equipment for all three trim levels - GX, GS, and GT - the SKYACTIV-G 2.5L can be paired with a choice of transmissions in the SKYACTIV-MT six-speed manual or SKYACTIV-Drive six-speed automatic.

It also comes equipped with a SKYACTIV-MT transmission as standard equipment and offers a Transport Canada-estimated fuel economy rating of 8.1 city/5.3 highway litres per 100 kilometres (L/100km).  When compared to the previous generation Mazda6 with a six-speed manual, the 2014 Mazda6 sees a 19 percent increase in the city and 23 percent increase on the highway.  When paired with the optional SKYACTIV-Drive automatic and i ELOOP regenerative braking system, fuel economy improves to a best-in-class 7.2 city/4.9 highway L/100km.

The Jeep Cherokee won top honours as the Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year beating out the Acura MDX and the Kia Sorento.

The editorial team from Canadian AutoWorld was at the show and gathered a lot of great content for out next edition. Check out the March issue for articles on Porsche production, Chrysler’s Canadian stair-step program, Nissan’s pricing strategy and a new dealership image program set to roll out for one Japanese brand.