The Automobile Journalists Association of Canada gave the 2011 Canadian Car of the Year and Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year awards to the Chevrolet Cruze and the Ford Edge. These awards, which were voted on by 70 Canadian journalists, were given at the opening ceremony of the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto.
Last October, the association released a list of 11 vehicles as finalists. The Cruze takes Best New Small Car over $21,000 while the Edge was named the Best New SUV/CUV between $35,000 and $50,000. All the Best New category winners can compete for the overall award for Canadian Car of the Year or Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year.
The other vehicles that were in competition for the awards include the Ford Fiesta, Volkswagen Jetta TDI Clean Diesel, Buick Regal, BMW 5 series, Porsche 911 Turbo S, Cadillac CTS-V coupe, Toyota Sienna minivan, and the Hyundai Tucson and Volkswagen Touareg crossovers.
The 2011 Best New Design award went to Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, beating the Audi R8 Spyder and the supercharged Jaguar XJ. Ford Motor Co.'s rear inflatable seat belt was named 2011 Best New Technology.
The belt lessens chest pressure while helping to control head and neck movement in the event of a crash. Last October, members of the AJAC evaluated 144 new vehicles in four days. In a statement, the organization said that the judges considered 20.