Ten 2004 Canadian Car of the Year Award category winners were announced today by the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) during a press conference at the Holiday Inn Select Airport in Toronto, Ontario. AJAC’s Jim Kenzie, president of the Canadian Car of the Year Awards, explained that, “Canadian consumers want to know what are the “Best New” buys for 2004. Based on survey results of previous Car of the Year buyers, almost 70% (69.6 %) were influenced to purchase their car because it was chosen the “Canadian Car of the Year”. This year’s category winners represent the best among an excellent group of new cars and trucks for 2004, as selected by a professional group of automotive experts who test drive, and report on, new vehicles in various media. Every year, this group of automotive experts, meet at Shannonville Motorsport Park near Belleville, Ontario, for a four-day automotive “TestFest” based on “real-world” back-to-back testing. Unlike American or European car awards, our Canadian program follows a sophisticated and rigorous testing process. To quote AJAC and Car of the Year Director Laurance Yap, “The 58 vehicle entries were performance-tested for acceleration, braking and passing times, at least four times each. In addition, journalists were running an average of 10 driving loops a day during team testing over the 4 day period.” The 2004 category winners are: Best New Economy Car: Winner: Mazda3 Best New Family Vehicle: Winner: Mazda6 Best New Luxury Car: Winner: BMW 5 Series Best New MPV / Crossover Vehicle: Winner: Infiniti FX45 Best New Sports Coupe (under $35,000): Winner: Mazda3 Sport Hatchback Best New Sports Coupe (over $35,000): Winner: Infiniti G35 Coupe Best New Sports / Performance Vehicle: Winner: Mazda RX-8 Best New Minivan: Winner: Toyota Sienna Best New Sport Utility Vehicle: Winner: Subaru Forester 2.5 XT Best New Pick-up: Winner: Ford F-150 The overall Canadian Car and Truck of the Year will be announced on February 11th, 2004 in conjunction with the official opening of the 2004 Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto, Ontario. The Best New Design and Best New Technology winners will also be declared at that time.