Chrysler and Mazda were all smiles at a press conference early Thursday morning after the Jeep Cherokee and the Mazda6 won the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) 2014 Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year and Canadian Car of the Year (CCOTY) awards, respectively.
“To achieve this honour amongst such diverse and worthy competition is both humbling and a reinforcement of our goal to completely redefine what Canadians should expect from an affordable, mid-size SUV,” said Reid Bigland, president and CEO of Chrysler Canada, at the opening of the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto.
The Cherokee also picked up the accolade for Best New SUV/CUV under $35,000 late last year after being voted on by 80 AJAC journalists at TestFest held in Niagara Falls, a five-day event where 174 brand new or significantly updated vehicles separated into 12 categories were driven and scrutinized.
Mazda Canada president Kory Koreeda echoed Bigland saying the company was honoured to have their flagship Mazda6 recognized by AJAC.
“This car introduced a combination of style, safety, fuel economy and dynamic driving into the midsize segment that has never been available before, and winning CCOTY is an overwhelming acknowledgement of that,” said Koreeda.
Like the Cherokee, the Mazda6 was also a double winner being crowned Best New Family Car over $30,000 in December. Mazda won three of the 12 categories, with the Mazda3 named Best New Small Car under $21,000. This is the Japanese manufacturer’s second time picking up CCOTY — the first was in 2004 shortly after the Mazda3 was first introduced to the market.