2011 Canadian Car/Utility Vehicle of the Year goes to 2011 Chevrolet Cruze/Ford Edge

Article by Christian A., on February 18, 2011

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.

The new Cruze is easily recognizable as a Chevrolet anywhere in the world, thanks to its bold face that features a two-tier grille and the iconic Bowtie logo. It owes its sporty, coupe-like proportion to its steeply raked windshield and fast-sloping rear pillars, as linked by an arching roofline.

Chevrolet also reinforced the sporty visuals of the Cruze by fitting prominent headlamp housings wrapping around the corners. The housings also sweep upward in the fenders and sculpted hood of the car. Likewise, the carmaker made the Cruze look sportier by giving it a short rear deck, minimal front and rear overhangs as well as wheels positioned at the corners. Overall, these elements lend the Cruze an aggressive appearance, as boosted by its wide, confident stance.

When made to sit side by side with its rivals, it would be easy to see that the Chevrolet Cruze is wider and longer than most of them. Offering a purposeful precise overall appearance, the new Cruze looks solid because of its taut, tightly drawn bodywork. It also exudes high quality due to its restrained use of exterior trim.

Purposeful precision is also evident in the build quality of the new Chevrolet Cruze. To optimize the manufacture of a solid body structure, the carmaker retooled the body shop of its Lordstown assembly site with the latest in body-framing and welding equipment. The resulting strong structure promotes minimal production variance as well as gap tolerances of 3 mm or less between most of the Cruze’s exterior panels. This makes the new Cruze look and feel more solid.

As expected, the bold design cues and attention to detail given to the exterior are continued to the interior, which features Corvette-inspired twin-cockpit motif. Boasting of exceptional assembly tolerances, the cabin of the new Cruze makes use of high-quality materials, grained soft-touch components and low-gloss trim panels.

The new Chevrolet Cruze is known for exceeding expectations for compact cars. A proof of this is the instrument panel with richly detailed instruments backlit with LED (light emitting diode) units. These LED units deliver an ice-blue illumination of the analog instruments and lighting for other cabin controls. As standard, the Cruze comes with driver information center, a feature that is usually rare in its segment.

Press Release

Chevrolet Cruze Named

Chevrolet was honoured today at the Canadian International Auto Show when the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) named the Chevrolet Cruze as the "2011 Canadian Car of the Year". The award followed rigorous head-to-head evaluations performed by over 70 of Canada's leading automotive journalists on 144 new vehicles entered in this year's competition.

"We are very proud to receive AJAC's 2011 Canadian Car of the Year honours for the all-new Chevrolet Cruze, which reflects a major refocusing of investment on smaller vehicles and fuel efficient technologies," said Kevin Williams, GM of Canada's president and managing director. "The Cruze represents our line in the sand: We're playing to win - and delivering the goods - in the small car business."

The Cruze affirms Chevrolet's commitment to building refined, fuel-efficient vehicles using new, small-displacement, four-cylinder engines, with the 1.4L turbo engine and six-speed manual transmission combination on the Cruze ECO model* and the 1.8L engine with six-speed manual transmission on the Cruze LS** both delivering best in class highway fuel economy.

Featuring a segment-leading 10 standard airbags, surprising amenities and leading edge connectivity, including Chevrolet's My Link application by OnStar, the Cruze aims to change the way Canadians look at compact cars.

Since its launch, the Cruze has been winning the hearts of customers around the globe, with over half a million already sold. In its first 3 months on the Canadian market, Cruze is off to a flying start, increasing GM's compact sales volume by over 32% versus the prior year period.

The Cruze logged more than 6 million kilometres in quality and durability testing worldwide, making it one of the most real world-tested GM products prior to launch. Cruze also has achieved five-star safety ratings in every market where it is being sold.

For more information on the Chevrolet Cruze, please visit: www.chevrolet.ca

2011 Ford Edge is voted 'Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year' by AJAC

Dramatic freshening of the 2011 Ford Edge includes extensive exterior redesign, improved materials and craftsmanship on the interior, class-exclusive technology and new powertrains

With available MyFord Touch™ driver connect technology, the 2011 Ford Edge crossover wraps an engaging package with superior craftsmanship, capability and performance

TORONTO, Ontario, February 17, 2011 – The 2011 Ford Edge was named 'Canadian Utility of the Year' by the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) at the Canadian International Auto Show.

"We are pleased to receive the 2011 Canadian Utility of the Year award from AJAC," said David Mondragon, president and CEO, Ford of Canada. "The Canadian-built 2011 Ford Edge features industry-leading technologies that create a whole new in-vehicle experience."

The Ford Edge was put through its paces, undergoing strenuous road and track testing by teams of skilled drivers who performed uninterrupted comparisons of each vehicle under the same conditions.

Through the evaluations of a panel of judges from AJAC's TestFest, the 2011 Ford Edge came out as the winner.

The Ford Edge blends technology, design and class-leading powertrains in a revamped package. An industry-first MyFord Touch driver connect technology powered by SYNC® provides a smarter and simpler way to connect drivers with in-car technologies and their digital lives.

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