Masaharu Kondo, President, Mazda Canada, accepts three AJAC awards from Mark Richardson, AJAC President (left) and Stephanie Wallcraft, AJAC Vice-President (right) (CNW Group/Mazda Canada Inc.)

Today at the Montreal International Auto Show media preview, Mazda accepted three awards from the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) for winning their overall categories. The Mazda3 was awarded Best Small Car In Canada For 2018, while the CX-5 took the award for Best Small Utility Vehicle In Canada For 2018, and the CX-9 was named Best Large Utility Vehicle In Canada For 2018. These awards make the Mazda3 eligible to win the overall 2018 Canadian Car of the Year award, and the CX-5 and CX-9 are on the shortlist to win the Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year for 2018.

Mazda is no stranger to the AJAC podium, being one of the winningest brands in the history of the AJAC Canadian Car of the Year awards. The Mazda3 has topped its category eight times prior to this win, which helps to highlight why it is Mazda’s best-selling model not only in Canada, but worldwide. The current generation was introduced for the 2014 model year, showing the lasting appeal of its KODO design, as well as the effectiveness of SKYACTIV Technology that include two efficient gasoline engines, manual and automatic transmissions, sedan and hatchback bodies, and chassis of the Mazda3 lineup.

With a recent redesign, the CX-5 embodies everything Canadian consumers want in their everyday vehicle: award-winning interior design, best-in-class driving dynamics, and excellent fuel economy. For 2018, the CX-5 gets even better, introducing an updated 2.5L SKYACTIV-G engine with cylinder deactivation, the first of its kind in North America. This new engine has the ability to imperceptibly shut down two cylinders at cruising speeds, and is designed to assist in maximizing real-world fuel efficiency.

The CX-9 is Mazda’s largest vehicle, with room for seven passengers, and is the flagship model in Mazda’s crossover lineup. Featuring authentic materials within the award-winning cabin such as Nappa leather, and genuine rosewood and aluminum accents, the CX-9 Signature offers Canadian customers a premium experience, without the price tag that is usually associated with this level of sophistication and refinement. CX-9 is also the first Mazda model to employ the SKYACTIV-G 2.5T turbocharged engine which produces 310 lb-ft of torque at a low 2,000 RPM, making it one of the most responsive and rewarding 7-passenger crossovers to drive.

The AJAC Canadian Car and Utility Vehicle of the Year awards program offers some of the most coveted automotive awards available on the Canadian automotive landscape, and represent the collective voice of Canada’s top automotive experts. Vehicles are judged on a large variety of objective and subjective qualities, meaning there is no single factor that determines a win. Instead, the vehicle must represent an overall package of quality, value, comfort, fuel economy, and many other factors that are critical to the Canadian consumer.