2011 CAJ Best of the Best nominees announced
Here’s the deal. If you’re reading Wheels, it’s safe to assume that you’re one of the wisest, sharpest, most knowledgeable car enthusiasts on the planet. So it goes without reason that if yours truly is to put his name behind an annual new car award, it’s going to be the “best” as well.
At a global level, I already represent Canada at the World Car of the Year awards. On a more local scale, I’m also one of the 10 Jurors of The Canadian Automotive Jury and our annual Best of the Best Awards.
Who the heck is the CAJ? Well, like myself, my nine fellow Jurors are fulltime journalists, some of the most-read auto industry experts in the country. We not only road test cars, but also travel the planet to new car launches and car shows from Beijing to Los Angeles, mainly to provide a distinctive and up-to-the-minute Canadian perspective on the ever-changing global auto industry.
I may be a bit biased. But I believe the CAJ Best of the Best Awards are the most credible, unbiased new car awards in Canada. We are a not-for-profit organization, and the awards are independently funded by us, the Jurors. We don’t receive a penny from any automakers to come to our decision.
I also like the fact that we, the Jury, don’t exclusively focus on just one model within a family of vehicles (i.e. only the GTI, and not the other Golfs) or only “all-new,” “semi-new” and “we-put-some-new-taillights-on-it-and called-it-new” models. As CAJ Jurors, we don't hand out awards for a specific model that may only appeal to a specific new car buyer. That’s why the reigning champion, the 2010 Best of the Best Winner, the Volkswagen Golf (with its gas, turbo and diesel engines, three-, five-door and wagon bodystyles, and sporty GTI) is automatically included as a finalist for this year’s awards.
And what about this year's second annual 2011 CAJ Best of the Best Finalists?
First, all candidates must have been on sale in Canadian showrooms by October 1, 2010. From this group, Jury members chose 11 finalists, plus the Golf. Five European models, four domestic, two Korean, and one Japanese model make up the dozen, which includes the Audi R8, BMW 5 Series, Buick Regal, Cadillac CTS, Ford Fiesta, Hyundai Sonata, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Kia Sportage, Mazda2, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Volkswagen Jetta, and of course, the last year's winning Volkswagen Golf.
Later this month, the Jury will get together, take the gloves off, and hammer out a decision on what will be our 2011 Best of the Best Winner. Should be fun. Look for the winner to be announced some time in November.