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Canadian Auto Journalists Unveil Best New Cars

The Automobile Journalists Association of Canada recently revealed the "Best New" winners in its annual Canadian Car of the Year Awards program, honoring the top new vehicles in 11 segments.

Collecting the most honors was Hyundai, which took three segments, while BMW, Kia and Mercedes-Benz were each honored in two segments.

Dodge and Volkswagen each earned one award.

"For three Hyundai products to be named the best new vehicles in their categories is a testament to the tremendous quality and value to be found in our showrooms," stated Steve Kelleher, president and chief executive officer of Hyundai Auto Canada.

"We're offering consumers an unparalleled combination of style, fuel economy, safety and feature content. It's these elements that have brought Hyundai to the forefront of the Canadian automotive industry," he added.

The winners announced late last week will now vie for the 2012 Canadian Car of the Year and the 2012 Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year honors to be revealed Feb. 16 in Toronto.

AJAC will unveil those winners as well as the winners of Best New Design and Best New Technology at the Canadian International Auto Show.

The following vehicles were honored by AJAC:

Best New Small Car (under $21,000): Hyundai Accent
Best New Small Car (over $21,000): Hyundai Elantra
Best New Family Car (under $30,000): Kia Optima
Best New Family Car (over $30,000): Kia Optima Hybrid
Best New Luxury Car: Mercedes-Benz C-Class C350 4MATIC Sedan
Best New Prestige Car (over $75,000): Mercedes-Benz S-Class S350 BlueTEC 4MATIC
Best New Sports/Performance Car (under $50,000): Hyundai Veloster
Best New Sports/Performance Car (over $50,000): BMW 1 Series M Coupé
Best New SUV/CUV (under $35,000): Dodge Journey
Best New SUV/CUV ($35,000-$60,000): Volkswagen Touareg TDI Clean Diesel
Best New SUV/CUV (over $60,000): BMW X3

Offering some more automaker commentary, Mercedes-Benz president and CEO Tim Reuss added: "The competition represented a broad cross-section of impressive models in every category this year, which makes these accolades even more gratifying. We would like to congratulate AJAC for being a trusted resource for over 30 years, and thank each member for their hard work and dedication that continues to provide an unbiased forum for testing and evaluating new vehicles."

Kia Canada president and CEO William Lee had this to say about the new vehicles from his brand that won: "The Optima Hybrid represents Kia's commitment to building fuel efficient and technologically-advanced vehicles. The Optima Hybrid provides our customers a driver's car with record breaking fuel economy including world-class design without compromise.

"The Optima LX further builds on a winning formula providing world-class design, technology, safety and fuel efficiency," he noted. "The Optima provides an exceptional combination of features and performance that would be typically found in premium class vehicles."