autoTRADER.ca is delighted to announce the winners of our 2018 Top Pick awards. After a detailed voting process involving our team of award-winning journalists, in a unique process that considered every 2018 vehicle available in Canada across 14 separate categories, the Volvo XC90 was awarded our Overall Top Pick.
Volvo Canada Managing Director Alexander Lvovich (right) received Volvo's three Top Pick trophies, the awards for: Top Luxury Car, Volvo V90, Top Luxury SUV, Volvo XC90 and Top Pick Overall, the Volvo XC90 again.
Uniquely in the Canadian award landscape, every car, truck or SUV available to consumers at the time of voting are eligible for autoTRADER.ca Top Picks, whether it was redesigned for 2018 or not.
The awards were carefully designed to incorporate detailed scoring from autoTRADER.ca’s large pool of experienced vehicle testers, one of the largest such talent pools in Canada, to help consumers choose the vehicle that’s right for them – no matter who sells it.
Using knowledge from our daily vehicle road tests and popular comparison tests, our journalists scored vehicles based on everything from performance and fuel economy, to practicality and value.
There is no submission process and no fees for a manufacturer to enter their vehicle – every vehicle available to consumers is considered.
“Canadians don’t limit their new vehicle purchases to only all-new-generation cars, so neither do our Top Picks,” said autoTRADER.ca managing editor Michael Bettencourt. “These awards represent our commitment to helping Canadians buy and sell cars with confidence.”
Senior Editor Jacob Black explained the Top Pick judging ethos. “Our Top Pick awards are given to the cars we most often and most readily recommend to our family and friends. A Top Pick answers the question, ‘What should I look at first in this segment?’”
As such, the 2018 autoTRADER.ca Top Pick Award winners are:
Top Small Car: Honda Civic
During yet another year of sales-topping success, the Honda Civic expanded its range to include a sport variant, the Civic Si, and a completely bonkers sports car edition, the Type R. With those two models rounding out a roster even deeper than the Maple Leafs bench, Honda’s Civic is the benchmark for the segment.
Top City Car: Honda Fit
The automotive equivalent of a real-life transformer, our journalists rate the Honda Fit first and foremost for its industry-leading practicality. Magic Seats, a folding passenger seat, and unrivalled cargo volume in a car that fits into any city condo space with room to spare, all culminate in a must-see subcompact.
Top Family Car: Honda Accord
Rounding out Honda’s hat-trick in this year’s top pick awards, the Honda Accord finally takes care of the one thing that has been Honda’s Achilles Heel – infotainment. With the sportier, sleeker and more advanced 2018 Honda Accord, the Japanese marque has also presented its best infotainment system in decades. All hail the return of the volume and tuning knobs!
Top Compact SUV: Nissan Qashqai
Smooth, easy to drive, and downright adorable to look at, the 2018 Nissan Qashqai is this year’s Top Compact SUV. In a booming segment that has split into multiple size levels, the Nissan Qashqai is just-right. It splits the middle between the niches occupied by little brother Juke and big brother Rogue. But the Qashqai’s biggest asset is its driving manners. It is equal parts enjoyable and easy to drive.
Top Full-Size SUV: Volkswagen Atlas
It’s fair to say that this three-row SUV is carrying a lot on its shoulders. The first shot in a coming barrage of Volkswagen SUVs, the Atlas is the first from the German brand to be given three rows here in Canada. It’s also a beautifully executed bit of kit.
Top Truck: Ford F-150
There are reasons the Ford F-150 is such a sales success – it’s just that good. The F-150 drives like a car in the ways that matter, and like a truck in the ways that count. The Ford picks up (get it?) its second Top Pick in a row courtesy of innovative tech, a compelling engine offering, and excellent capability.
Top Minivan: Chrysler Pacifica
Now with added plug-in hybrid capability, the Chrysler Pacifica is not only the most attractive and feature-rich minivan on the market – but the most environmentally friendly as well. For its ability to haul the family without using their weight in fuel, the Chrysler Pacifica is a natural choice for Top Minivan.
Top Luxury Compact SUV: Porsche Macan
When is an SUV not an SUV? When it’s a sports car. Porsche’s Macan shows flagrant disrespect to the laws of physics on track, and supermodel flair in the school drop-off zone. Brand cachet, style, and performance? Check, check, and check.
Top Luxury Car: Volvo V90
Volvo’s interiors are the gold standard for attention to detail and style. Unique, innovative, and intriguing, Volvo’s mix of natural material, intricate design, and elegance had our judges salivating. The V90 wagon is a masterpiece of practicality, prominence, and performance.
Top Sports Car Under $50,000: Mazda MX-5
Ask any six-year old to draw you a sports car and odds are it will have no roof, two doors, two seats, and look a little like the red car Noddy drives. For 2018 Mazda’s MX-5 is yet again setting the template for what a sports car should be, whether in classic convertible form or sultry retractable hardtop targa mode. There are few cars as lively, engaging, and charming as this little Mazda – and fewer still you can get into for less than $50,000.
Top Sports Car Over $50,000: Porsche Cayman
Last year our judges said the Porsche Cayman is the best Porsche to buy, and nothing has yet changed our minds. So we’ll say it again: “The well-balanced, light, and blisteringly fast little Porsche takes us back to the core of what a sports car should be. It maintains just enough roughness around the edges and keeps the driver engaged at all times.”
Top Green Car: Chevrolet Volt
Another repeat winner, the Chevrolet Volt continues to represent the best example of eco-conscious motoring with minimal compromise. It’s a great car to drive, and is capable of handling 90 percent of Canadians’ monthly commute on zero fuel, without any range anxiety.
Top Luxury SUV and Top Pick Overall: Volvo XC90
Everything we said about the V90 goes double for the Volvo XC90, our top Luxury SUV and Top Pick Overall award winner for this year.
About Top Picks
Top Picks recognizes vehicles in 14 categories, including the overall winner, for their value, innovation, performance, comfort, technology, and ultimate desirability. All voters were requested to vote on their top five vehicle choices in each category, from which a short list of the top three scorers went to a final round of voting. In short, the autoTRADER.ca Top Picks are awarded to vehicles our writers would recommend to their friends and family in any given category.
autoTRADER.ca’s roster of automotive journalists includes Canada’s best and most-experienced writers. Sixteen of them combined to vote on the vehicles they think represent the best in the marketplace for this year. Eligibility is open to any vehicle currently on sale to the general public in Canada.