TORONTO—Chevrolet’s Cruze drove home with the best car of the year award at the 2011 Canadian International Auto Show.
The Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) selected Chevy’s first global compact car over other category finalists, the Ford Fiesta and Volkswagen Jetta TDI Clean.
GM Canada president and managing director Kevin Williams said the win reflects “a major refocusing of investment on smaller vehicles and fuel efficient technologies.”
The car uses new, small-displacement, four-cylinder engines, with a 1.4L turbo engine and six-speed manual transmission combination on the Cruze ECO model and a 1.8L engine with six-speed manual transmission on the Cruze LS.
Ford also drove away with awards at this year’s show.
The Ford Edge took Canadian utility vehicle of the year, beating out finalists Hyundai Tucson and Volkswagen Touareg.
And the carmaker scored again with its rear inflatable seatbelts in the best new technology category.
The 2011 best new design award went to Mercedes-Benz for its SLS-Class AMG.
The AJAC uses 40,000 individual data points in its testing program, including specifications, features, performance data and subjective ratings on up to 23 different characteristics.
A total of 144 vehicles were entered in this year’s competition.