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New Jeep Cherokee Wins 2014 Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year

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New Jeep-Cherokee Limited front end

The Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) has named the all-new Jeep Cherokee their 2014 Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year. The American compact crossover beat out 18 rivals to win the coveted award.

The selection was part of AJAC’s 26th-annual Canadian Car of the Year (CCOTY) awards program and involved 80 top-level automotive journalists from across the country. To make the evaluations more objective, the journalists drove and voted on 174 new or significantly changed vehicles back-to-back, under the same conditions, and on closed and public roads.

The contenders were whittled down to just three other finalists — Acura MDX, GMC Sierra and Kia Sorento — but in the end, it was the Cherokee that most impressed.

“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. Whether through its cutting-edge design, class-exclusive tech like a segment-first nine-speed automatic transmission, legendary Jeep 4×4 capability or more than 70 advanced safety and security features, the 2014 Cherokee is resonating well with consumers,” said Reid Bigland, President and CEO, Chrysler Canada.

The Jeep Cherokee was also the winner of the “Best New SUV/CUV under $35,000” class.

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Awards

Buick Avista is Concept Car of the Year, Most Significant Concept of 2016

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Red Buick Avista Concept

The Buick Avista Concept is still being talked about long after its debut at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show. In fact, so enamored are auto critics by the two-door Buick’s striking, eye-catching design that it was named Concept Car of the Year and Most Significant Concept Vehicle of 2016 at the 2016 North American Concept Vehicle Awards ceremony held at Concours d’Elegance of America.

The awards recognize one vehicle that made the strongest impact in terms of automotive design, engineering and market responsiveness.

More than just a one-off eye-candy, the Avista not only celebrates Buick’s “deep design heritage” but also previews the brand’s future design direction. Bryan Nesbitt, executive director of Buick Global Design, had the following to say:

“The design process of the Avista brought the team together to unite around a future direction for the brand and the great teamwork and enthusiasm it generated. While looking to the future, we also wanted to honor the rich heritage of Buick by integrating timeless design cues in this beautifully progressive concept vehicle.”

The Avista was praised for its futuristic interior and intuitive design, with Detroit Free Press auto critic Mark Phelan saying it “cements Buick’s surprising status as one of the auto industry’s most intriguing brands.”

In addition to being named Concept Car of the Year and Most Significant Concept Vehicle of 2016, the gorgeous coupe also received the EyesOn Design Excellence and “Best Future Concept” awards following its introduction at the North American International Auto Show.

Is the Buick Avista deserving of all these awards or is there a better choice? Make sure to share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Here Are Your Contenders for 2016 North American Car, Truck/Utility of the Year

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Another year, another North American Car and Truck/Utility of the Year award ceremony, and we have the contenders for you.

On the cars side, we have the all-new, 2016 BMW 7-Series, 2016 Cadillac CT6, 2016 Chevrolet Camaro, 2016 Chevrolet Malibu, 2016 Chevrolet Volt, 2016 Honda Civic sedan, 2016 Kia Optima, 2016 Mazda Miata MX-5, 2016 Nissan Maxima, and 2016 Toyota Prius. A very strong list, if you ask me…

The models running for the Truck/Utility of the Year award are the new Tesla Model X, Ford Edge, Volvo XC90, Honda HR-V, Honda Pilot, Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sorento, Jeep Renegade, Lexus RX, Mazda CX-3, Nissan Titan XD and Toyota Tacoma.

Which car and truck do you have as your top picks?

If the list looks long, don’t worry, it will eventually be narrowed down by 57 jurors to just three finalists in each category. The two winners are announced at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show.

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Here Are the North American Car and Truck of the Year Finalists

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2015 Volkswagen Golf TSI, blue

With the 2015 Detroit Auto Show just around the corner, the finalists for the coveted North American Car and Truck/Utility of the Year competition have been announced.

In contention for the North American Car of the Year award are the new Ford Mustang, Hyundai Genesis and Volkswagen Golf. As for the North American Truck/Utility of the Year, you have the redesigned Chevrolet Colorado, aluminum-body Ford F-150 and new Lincoln MKC battling it out for the top spot.

It’s a tough crowd in both categories and it would be interesting to see which vehicles are selected as the winners come January 12, 2015.

RELATED STORY: New Chevrolet Colorado Wins Motor Trend 2015 Truck of the Year

Considering that the Volkswagen Golf and Chevrolet Colorado won Motor Trend’s car and truck of the year awards, respectively, are they the most likely candidates to drive away the victors? Do let us know which car and truck you think deserve to be crowned.

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