• 2021 CCOTY

2021 AJAC Canadian Car and Utility Vehicle of the Year winners announced

Mazda3 and Genesis GV80 take top honours

Lee Bailie By: Lee Bailie March 30, 2021

Today, the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) revealed that the Mazda3 and Genesis GV80 have respectively won the 2021 Canadian Car and Utility Vehicle of the Year awards.

Since 1985, AJAC jurors have spent months annually test driving, evaluating and voting on a broad cross-section of vehicles across numerous industry segments. Each vehicle is assigned a score for various factors, including performance, features, technology, design, fuel consumption and value.

Balloting was completed anonymously, which narrowed this year’s field of entrants down to eight category winners and then three finalists for both Car and Utility Vehicle of the Year categories.

This year, more than 250 vehicles were evaluated by 80-plus group of AJAC jurors. The entries consisted of all-new and refreshed models, along with carry-overs from the previous year.

The Mazda3 won the Car of the Year award for the second consecutive year, making it the first nameplate to ever capture the award in consecutive years. The win is the third in the category overall for the Mazda3, which also won Car of the Year in 2004. The Jaguar I-PACE was a repeat winner in the Utility of the Year category in 2019 and 2020.

“This is a historic win for Mazda and we are honoured to be the first to reach these milestones with AJAC,” said David Klan, President and CEO, Mazda Canada in a statement. “The Mazda3 has always been a core model in our line-up that reflects our philosophy and brand strengths, and this award once again shows that our dedication to designing and crafting the very finest is paying dividends.”

The GV80 is the first-ever utility vehicle for Genesis, and the Utility Vehicle of the Year win marks the second AJAC award for Hyundai’s premium brand, which launched in 2016. The G80 sedan won the Mid-Size Premium Car category for 2021.

“We are pleased that the first-ever Genesis SUV, GV80, has received this prestigious award,” said Richard Trevisan, Brand Director of Genesis Motors Canada in a statement. “With its bold design and the latest technologies, GV80 exemplifies the ambition of Genesis. We believe that being a leading consumer brand means developing an exciting product lineup that is paired with unparalleled customer experience. We’re honoured to receive this recognition here in Canada.”

2021 CCOTY

“AJAC is very proud to present our highest honours today to the 2021 Canadian Car of the Year and Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year,” said AJAC President Stephanie Wallcraft in a statement. “2020 was a challenging year for everyone, our industry included. Despite our inability to hold events such as our annual TestFest due to pandemic-related restrictions, our members rallied to arrange and perform hundreds of test drives from their homes across Canada throughout 2020.”

AJAC also announced its three 2021 Automotive Innovation Award winners:

Best Safety Innovation – Honda Next Generation Front Passenger Airbag

Best Green Innovation – 2021 F-150 PowerBoost Full Hybrid Powertrain

Best Technical Innovation – Ford Pro Power Onboard System