Updated: February 16, 2012 3:16 PM | By The Canadian Press, thecanadianpress.com

Elantra wins Canadian car of the year award



Elantra wins Canadian car of the year award

Steve Kelleher, president of Hyundai Canada, holds up the Canadian Car of the Year trophy for the Hyundai Elantra at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

TORONTO - The Hyundai Elantra has won the 2012 Canadian Car of the Year award.

It was selected as the winner today at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto from a group of three finalists which also included Hyundai's Accent subcompact.

The win comes just over a month after the car was named the 2012 North American car of the year during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, where it edged out the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Passat.

Hyundai Auto Canada president Steve Kelleher called the win a "vindication for all the effort Hyundai designers and engineers invested into the project."

He says the company wanted to provide drivers with a new take on the compact sedan, incorporating style, quality, safety, and fuel efficiency.

It's the second time in four years that a Hyundai has won both awards back-to-back — the Genesis luxury sedan earned both titles in 2009.

The Volkswagen Touareg TDI Clean Diesel was named the Canadian utility vehicle of the year and the Hyundai Veloster won best new design at today's media event.

Each year, the association names the best new cars in eight categories following an intensive one-week event known as "Test Fest."

From those eight winners, three finalists are selected before the highest-rated vehicle is chosen as the top vehicle by The Automobile Journalists Association of Canada.

The Elantra has a 148 horsepower, 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine paired to six-speed manual or automatic transmissions.

With sales of 44,930 units, it was the second best-selling passenger car in Canada during 2011.

Hyundai Auto Canada, headquartered in Markham, Ont., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Company of Korea.

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