• Feb 14th 2010 at 9:13AM
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2010 2010 Volkswagen GTI - Click above for high-res image gallery

Congratulations 2010 Volkswagen Golf GTI: Canada loves you. VW's lovable little pocket rocket has been named the car of the year by the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada. AJAC chose the GTI over nine other vehicles in the "best new" category, giving VW's compact corner-cutter another feather in its cap. The AJAC car of the year award is determined by 70 journalists who judge 20 parameters and a reported total of "46,000 pieces of data in all."

AJAC Car of the Year Chair Richard Russell seems fairly smitten with how the association chooses the winners of its awards. The AJAC press release quotes Russell as saying "by constantly adjusting the program and testing procedures to reflect what is important to Canadian consumers, we feel we have a more thorough, unbiased and meaningful award than any other." Big words, those.

John White, President and CEO, Volkswagen Group Canada calls the GTI the "heart and soul of Volkswagen," and added that the honor "represents the culmination of the hard work on the part of everyone in the Volkswagen Brand around the world." The GTI won Automobile Car of the Year back in November; the same award the magazine awarded the car back in 2007 with the same powertrain and hard points. Hit the jump to look over the AJAC press release and head over to the association's website for more winners.

[Source: AJAC]


TORONTO (Ontario) Thursday, February 11, 2010 – In an early morning press conference at the opening of the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto, the Volkswagen Golf GTI was declared the 2010 Canadian Car of the Year (CCOTY) by the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC).

The Volkswagen Golf GTI beat nine other "best new" category winners, announced October 30, 2009 to win top honours. John White, President and CEO, Volkswagen Group Canada Inc. commented, "We are very proud to win this very prestigious award and wish to thank the AJAC members for bestowing this recognition upon our car. The Golf GTI is the heart and soul of Volkswagen. To have the Golf GTI named Canadian Car of the Year today by Canada's automotive media is a very proud moment for us, indeed, and represents the culmination of the hard work on the part of everyone in the Volkswagen Brand around the world."

AJAC's Canadian Car of the Year Awards chair, Richard Russell, said: "AJAC has been conducting and perfecting the
Canadian Car and Utility Vehicle of the year program for more than two decades. By constantly adjusting the program and
testing procedures to reflect what is important to Canadian consumers, we feel we have a more thorough, unbiased and
meaningful award than any other. It is heartening to learn from independent research that Canadians recognize the
significance of the award. We will continue to strive to live up to that trust."

AJAC's annual Canadian Car of the Year awards program was created in 1985 with the purpose of providing consumers with sound, comparative information on vehicles that are new to the market. Unlike other awards, this is not a popularity contest based on the opinions of a few people. Our winners are determined on a combination of measured facts and subjective evaluations of more than 20 parameters by approximately 70 journalists – more than 46,000 pieces of data in all. And most importantly, they are based on actual testing of the vehicles– back-to-back; on the same roads and in the same conditions on the same day.

The vote results that determined today's winners are available to consumers as a resource buying guide on the AJAC web site. Also available are the comparative test data derived from the journalists' extensive four day evaluation of more than 150 new vehicles in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario in October. This annual event is known in the industry as "TestFest". Shell Canada is the official fuel supplier of the event.

The rigorous TestFest evaluation program includes real world driving on public roads – exactly where consumers drive so that the test and vote results posted to the AJAC web site are directly relevant to potential car and truck buyers. Still looking to buy a 2009, 2008, or even a 2007 vehicle? AJAC archives the comparative test data from previous years on its web site.

Photos from today's award announcements, the October 30th category winners, and the TestFest evaluation event, are available for print and broadcast media under <Canadian Car of the Year< Photo Gallery< on the AJAC web site. In addition, our AJAC journalists who evaluated the brand new models at TestFest are available across Canada for interviews to talk about the vote results and comparative data. Media are invited to visit the AJAC web site and log-in under "Ask An Expert", then choose the "Media" link to access interview information once validation has occurred.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      This car deserves it in every way its practical, a blast to drive, real good on gas and has amazing interior quality all while being able to fit 5 adults especially in four door guise!
      • 5 Years Ago
      It is really great to see this car receiving so much praise. No I am not an owner just someone that appreciates quality cars and had the opportunity to test drive two of these.

      In fact I challenge anyone to go test drive a new GTI and then tell me honestly that they didn't enjoy it. It may not have the HP of the MS3 or a WRX but the GTI really is tops in overall experience. It does have more than enough power to throw the thing around and all it takes is $500 ecu flash from APR to get another 54 hp out of it and that is just stage one.
      This 2.0T engine was engineered with an excessive amount of margin and you have guys out there getting 350+ hp with very few modificaitons.

      That interior is simply beautiful (very Audi-isk ) and feels solid as hell.

      Great freaking car. I am kinda puzzled why everyone keeps mentioning the quality issues with VW. For the most part I think that is behind them now, its just the leftover stigma of people wanting to come up with excuses to slam VW. The GTI has been on Car and Driver's Ten Best for how many years in a row now and yet I have never seen any follow up articles of the GTI falling apart. I've owned 2 VW's in the past 4 years and have never had an issue, now this is my own personal experience but I'm not convinced it's fair to continue to label all VW's products as Lemons.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @RickRod - no need to reply to the trolls, anyone digging up recalls from third world countries and projecting them onto a north american discussion is already deliriously desperate.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Coco, no doubt the DSG shifting into neutral and a brake light going out would be annoying and even possibly cause fender benders in some cases but come on! Those sound pretty minor when you compare them to a car accelerating on its own in the case of Toyota or an airbag shotting shrapnel into your face (Honda).
        I had the model year VW that you are referring to with the break light and all it ended up being was a TSB. And how did VW make up for it? By extending the warranty on that brake light for another 5 years or so. I would say that is a pretty darn respectable way to handle it. Compare that to a company like Toyota that has been known for covering up potential issues. They have been doing that even before the stuck gas pedals (ref. Tacoma and Tundra frame rust issues) . Not only that but lets compare the numbers you just referenced. You are really going to sweat over 157K or whatever in Brazil to the Millions of cars Toyota has had to recall around the world over the past year?

        All companies are going to have issues from time to time. It is how they handle them that will determine the impact to the car companies general reputation. Toyota might be going all out now to fix things because they are feeling the pinch in their sales now but to me it seems too little too late.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "VW's never had a safety recall on par with the almost dozen toyota's putting out now" -- Zamafir

        "VW recalls 193,620 of vehicles in Brazil -- lubrication problem with the REAR

        "April 2008, it recalled 477,000 of its Brazilian-made Fox compact models to fix a fault with the rear seat... FINGERS MUTILATED"

        "In December of that same year, 120,000 late-model Fox, Novo Gol and Voyage cars were recalled because of a BRAKE FAULT"


        "Volkswagen of America, Inc. announced today a voluntary recall involving 13,500 vehicles equipped with its DSG transmission. Models affected by the recall include the Jetta, Jetta SportWagen, GTI, and Eos built between September 2008 and August 2009. -- THE ABRUPT SHIFT TO NEUTRAL COULD LEAD TO A CRASH WITHOUT WARNING.


        "Volkswagen AG is recalling some 410,000 Passat sedans sold in the United States due to potential problems with heat shields and fuel line components -- heat shield that could be subject to damage, CREATING A RISK IF IT TOUCHES THE EXHAUST SYSTEM, vehicles will be inspected for potential damage to a fuel tank ventilation valve and a fuel line,"

        • 5 Years Ago
        "digging up recalls from third world countries and projecting them onto a north american discussion is already deliriously desperate."

        so says a resident self-obsessed VAG-o-file in denial...

        "Brand new VW R32 catches on fire"

        "Volkswagen Passat CC faces US recall for possible fire safety issue -- Cooling fan can create a channel for oil to get to the engine, generating a RISK OF FIRE or serious damage."

        is that close enough for your neck of the woods?


        "none of the VW recalls were safety related. Good times."

        I guess "good times" for a VW owner means you didn't get burned alive, mutilated, lost control of vehicle, or crashed because a wheel fell off.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Coco, I'm with you.

        Any manufacturer with reliability and build quality of Toyota would be extremely proud.

        BTW, that the faulty part that caused massive Toyota recall was manufactured by an American company.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think Automobile magazine also gave it the Coty award.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Awesome! Go VAG!
      • 5 Years Ago
      The new front end on the GTI looks hideous. Last generation's looked a lot better to me (and no, I don't own a last-gen GTI).
      • 5 Years Ago
      I agree the wheels are hideous. But I am not in the market, I wouldn't drop the $30K (CDN) on this car, so maybe those who will like them, so they may as well stick with them.

      AJAC is another useless award from advertiser pampered journalists. I pay it no heed.

      In the same set they awarded the Porche Panamera top prestige car....
        • 5 Years Ago
        The wheels are great, the car is great (I would love the 4-door), AJAC is as objective an organization as you will find, and the Panamera, while unusual looking, is a a stunningly capable sports sedan.

        I wish VW had some manufacturing in Canada though. Toyota and Honda both have significant presence here and are perceived by buyers as quasi-domestic.
        • 5 Years Ago
        By Tor, Snowdog's right. Wheels are hideous. The whole car looks like a caricature of boredom... from Cars the movie.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The comments — at least the first page — seem full of VW fanboys. Everyone who dares to criticize the car, gets minused, and everyone who waxes poetic over it is full 3 stars.

      The car's front end is absolutely hideous compared to Mk V Golf. With these out-of-place black bezel headlights and blacked out grille, it looks like a cheap aftermarket mod job done by a 17-year old boy.

      I also don't know why everybody is going bonkers over VW's "interior quality". Peer pressure maybe? I studied one in detail and noticed a number of areas with hard plastics, and there was noticeable wobble in control knobs.

      The most unbelievable thing is that people are actually willing to pay incredible amount of money for these things. It gets to the point where VW can have the audacity to manufacture a two-generation old Golf and sell it to Canadians as a brand new car with a different name. It's a slap in the face to an entire nation. Branding does fantastic things to people.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I really like the current GTI. Saw it at the Philly auto show, and more or less fell in love with it. I'm shopping in about a year or year and a half, so it's going to be between this and the high-performance version of the new Focus hatch. I thought the plaid fabric looked dorky in pictures, but in person it really works.

      I don't love the wheels on the GTI, and would appreciate an option for something the same size with 10 thin spokes or something, but it wouldn't be a deal-breaker. (All of the wheel options on the GTI cost something like $1500)
      • 5 Years Ago
      Not Canadians, Canadian auto journalists - it's a big difference.
      • 5 Years Ago
      chosen by Automobile "Journalists" Association of Canada... so no, not chosen by Canadians per se. just the journalists.

      Here's the real deal:

      "Honda Civic Canada’s top-selling car for 12th consecutive year"


      Sales (all vehicles) in canada, through the first three quarters of 2009:

      #1- FORD F-SERIES: 60,954


      #3- HONDA CIVIC: 48,483

      #4- TOYOTA COROLLA: 28,483

      #5- MAZDA 3: 36,974


      #7- FORD ESCAPE: 28,852

      #8- DODGE RAM: 24,307

      #9 - HYUNDAI ELANTRA: 24,203

      #10- HYUNDAI ACCENT: 22,284
      • 5 Years Ago
      These are some of the reasons why the Vw's, especialy the GTi is loved by Canadians and others around the world.
      A car for drivers
      Cofortable firm seats
      excelent handeling / braking
      Chasis rigitity
      great build materials
      descent MPG
      Powerful engine
      Great style

      Sounds like a formula to sell cars, to people who like to drive....
      • 5 Years Ago
      I don't know what you people are talking about...I love those wheels...its what makes GTI stand out in a crowd.

      Regarding quality...I am on my 2nd A4...(well part of the family with the 2.0T engine, I guess) and I have had zero issues in the past 6 years...I think it is safe to say there is no problem with VW/Audi any longer....unlike Toyonda...(oh my how the mighty have fallen...)

      I would love to get my hands on a GTI in the next few months, when my Saturn Aura lease expires (uh...Aura??? yes I know...sorry...dont know what I was thinking...)

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