Cadillac ATS Winner CAJ 2013 Best of the Best Award
By John LeBlanc, National Post
Cadillac ATS wins CAJ 2013 Best of the Best Award
The Canadian Automotive Jury (CAJ) announced the new Cadillac ATS is the winner of its 2013 Best of the Best award.
The ATS beat out 11 other finalists, which included a wide variety of vehicles available to Canadian new-car buyers, including sedans, coupes, hatchbacks, SUVs, crossovers and sports and performance cars. The CAJ’s Best of the Best finalists don’t exclusively focus on a specific model within a family of vehicles or only “all-new” models, and they include the reigning Best of the Best winner from the previous year, which is an automatic finalist.
For 2013, four European, four Japanese, three domestic and one Korean models made up the Best of the Best finalists, which, along with the winning ATS, included the following: Audi A7 (2012 Best of the Best winner); Buick Verano; Ford Fusion; Honda Accord; Kia Rio; Mazda CX-5; Porsche Boxster; Porsche 911; Scion FR-S; Subaru BRZ and Volkswagen Golf R.
The top four cars vying for the Best of the Best award were the ATS, Accord, Rio and CX-5.
The CAJ chooses its finalists based on the following criteria: style, design (exterior and interior), ride and handling, performance, ergonomics, comfort, space, cargo capacity, fuel efficiency and noise, vibration and harshness (NVH).
One of the key considerations for choosing the winner is market significance – what the car will do to change things for both the automaker and the automotive market. The ATS marks such a massive shift for Cadillac, and General Motors as a corporation, that it will have a trickle-down effect on the entry-level luxury car market.
According to the CAJ, the ATS has one of the best interior designs regardless of make or cost. It also scores in terms of its style, the choices it offers potential customers, such as three engines, and its ride and handling balance – it’s very planted when pushed but equally comfortable when loafing along.
The CAJ’s annual Best of the Best Awards are unique in Canada. The not-for-profit organization is independently funded by its Jurors, 11 senior automotive journalists (including Post Driving‘s David Booth, Graeme Fletcher, John LeBlanc and Gabriel Gelinas) who account for the vast majority of automotive industry coverage in Canada.
The 2013 Best of the Best award will be presented to General Motors for its Cadillac ATS Jan. 17 at the Montreal auto show.