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 |  Feb 16 2012, 11:06 AM

The Automobile Journalists Association of Canada announced the Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year today at the Toronto International Auto Show.

Volkswagen‘s Touareg TDI Clean Diesel took the trophy over the BMW X3 and Dodge Journey.

Manager of media relations for Volkswagen of Canada, Thomas Tetzlaff, said the award was a huge honor and that he thought the Touareg won because of its mixed capability to offer cargo capacity and comfort for five while delivering sedan-like fuel economy and the ability to tow a boat.

The decision is the result of AJAC’s Test Fest where 70 Canadian automotive journalists gather toward the end of each year to drive and judge the year’s new models.

Cars are initially judged within their segment, the winners may go on to be selected as the car of the year.

Last year AJAC picked the 2011 Ford Edge as the winner.

 |  Feb 16 2012, 10:42 AM

The Automobile Journalists Association of Canada announced the Canadian Car of the Year today at the Toronto International Auto Show.

The Hyundai Elantra won, though the automaker was essentially guaranteed the trophy because they were competing against their subsidiary company Kia.

The top three picks were the Hyundai Elantra, Hyundai Accent and Kia Optima. All three, among many others were put through a series of tests by 70 Canadian automotive journalists in the last week of October, 2011.

Cars are initially judged within their segment, and then the winners may go on to be selected as the car of the year.

“The Elantra is the best new car we brought to market, ever. I’m happy all the automotive journalists agree with my opinion,” said Steve Kelleher, president and CEO of Hyundai Canada.

The Elantra sells in Canada for a base price of $15,849, CAD, which is roughly the same in U.S. dollars, though it’s about $500 more than the American version.

Last year AJAC picked the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze for the award.

GALLERY: 2012 Hyundai Elantra

hyundai-elantra-front.JPGnew-hyundai-elantra-car.JPG2011-hyundai-elantra-interior1.jpghyundai-elantra-rear.JPGhyundai-images.JPG2011-hyundai-elantra-dashboard.jpg