Finalists have been revealed and votes will be calculated for two of Canada's top honours given to green cars. The 2017 Canadian Green Car Award is given out at the Green Living Show and will be announced on April 7th at the opening of the show in Toronto. The 2017 Canadian Green Car of the Year and Canadian Green Utility Vehicle of the Year are awarded by the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) and will be announced March 28th, at the Vancouver Auto Show.
The AJAC award is based on the results of experienced auto journalists driving the eligible cars at the association's annual Car of the Year testing event in the fall, leaving behind many newly released 2017 cars such as the Chevrolet Bolt and Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid. New or significantly revised cars and utility vehicles are judged on things like cargo space, driving experience, price and performance figures, as well as green criteria like range, recharge time, and emissions.
This award's newness requirement also means that some worthy green vehicles are often not eligible to compete, though ironically this year, it didn't have the latest - and some of the most impressive - new green vehicles available in time for testing. Plus the manufacturers must elect to pay a fee to enter, which not all automakers are prepared to do.
The finalists for Canadian Green Car of the Year are the Chevrolet Malibu hybrid, Kia Optima hybrid, and Toyota Prius. The Canadian Green Utility Vehicle of the Year nominees are the Mazda CX-9, Subaru Forester, and the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid.
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For the other competition, the Canadian Green Car Awards presented at the Green Living Show are given out in six categories. Category winners will be announced in March before an overall winner is announced at the show in April. The categories are zero-emission (battery electric, fuel cell, or other zero-emission tech), plug-in hybrid, conventional hybrid (must have combined economy rating better than 6.0 L/100 km), gasoline or diesel (must have better than 7.0 L/100 km combined rating), efficient three-row (better than 10.0 L/100 km combined), and fun car, which is any vehicle that can accelerate to 100 km/h in 7.5 seconds or less that manages a combined fuel economy rating better than 8.1 L/100 km.
The cars and trucks are judged on their fuel consumption, emissions, use of sustainable materials, and other areas of green manufacturing, and will all be test driven right up to the early spring, so judges can drive as many new entries as possible. These vehicles are also assessed by the judges for things like price, safety, comfort, and performance. But various automakers have elected not to participate in the CGCA through the years, including Toyota historically, despite all green vehicles on the market that meet the efficiency requirements being eligible to enter the voting process free of charge.
"With the longest-running green car award in Canada, we work hard to ensure our judges test drive and cover as many green vehicles as possible, throughout the year and specifically during our finalist judging," said Michael Bettencourt, managing editor of autoTRADER.ca, and one of the CGCA organizers, whose judges are often but not always AJAC members as well. "We understand it may be confusing for some consumers to see two Canadian green car awards out there, but right now, there are important differences in the awards that we feel consumers should know and understand."
2017 Canadian Green Car Award finalists:
Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid
Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid
Kia Niro Hybrid