Toronto—The Automobile Journalists Association of Canada has named the Honda Accord the 2013 Car of the Year.
The awards, held minutes before the opening of the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto on Feb. 15, are the results of the Auto Journalists Association of Canada’s “Test Fest” results.
During the Test Fest, which was held last October, 80 of Canada’s top automotive journalists spent 4 days conducting competitive testing on 60 car entries.
To win Canadian Car of the Year a car must first win in its category during the Test Fest, which for the Accord was Best New Family Car (under 30K), and then beat all the other category winners.
This year’s second- and third-place runners-up were Porsche Carrera S and Hyundai Elantra.
Dave Gardner, VP Sales and Marketing at Honda Canada, commented on the Accord’s win: “You’re looking for nice style, safety, reliability, technology—there are lots of cars that excel in one or two of those areas. We think the Accord excels in all of them.”
The 2014 Accord plug-in hybrid was unveiled during the Canadian International Auto Show. It should arrive in Canada this spring for market viability testing.
How much will it cost exactly? “Stay tuned,” says Gardner.
Winning Canadian Car of the Year was not the only victory for Honda in 2012.
Canada, the Civic nation?
Canadians love the Civic. It has been the country’s top-selling passenger car for the past 15 years, 2012 being no exception. Last year Canadians bought 64,962 Civics. The 2012 Civic actually didn’t get stellar reviews, but Canadians bought it anyway.
“There are over 1.5 million Civics running around on the road in Canada right now. It just seems to be sporty enough, reliable, dependable—it has that appeal,” says Gardner, noting that everyone “from 25-year-old kids to 80-year-old parents” drive Civics.
“When we talk about the Honda brand we like to talk about clean, safe, and fun. It’s kind of hard to find any Canadian who’d say ‘none of those three things are important to me.’”
So what’s the bottom line for Canadians? “When people buy a Honda the very first expectation they have is that is won’t break,” says Gardner.
It sounds simple, but it hasn’t been easy to achieve for many automakers. It has also been the key factor in Honda’s high retained value.
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