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TORONTO, Ontario — The Automobile Journalists Association of Canada announced the winners in its 2010 Canadian Car of the Year program Thursday at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto.

Taking the spot as Canadian Car of the Year was the Volkswagen Golf GTI, while the Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year award went to Subaru Outback.

"AJAC has been conducting and perfecting the Canadian Car and Utility Vehicle of the year program for more than two decades," shared Richard Russell, AJAC's Canadian Car of the Year Awards chair. "By constantly adjusting the program and testing procedures to reflect what is important to Canadian consumers, we feel we have a more thorough, unbiased and meaningful award than any other."

John White, president and chief executive officer of Volkswagen Group Canada, noted:  "We are very proud to win this very prestigious award and wish to thank the AJAC members for bestowing this recognition upon our car. The Golf GTI is the heart and soul of Volkswagen. To have the Golf GTI named Canadian Car of the Year today by Canada's automotive media is a very proud moment for us, indeed, and represents the culmination of the hard work on the part of everyone in the Volkswagen Brand around the world."

Offering his comments on winning the utility vehicle award, Katsuhiro Yokoyama, Subaru president and CEO, shared: "It is a great honor to accept this award. To receive this tribute from the members of AJAC tells us very clearly that thoughtful design, first-class engineering, exceptional safety, and outstanding value are qualities that keep the Subaru brand strong."

Receiving the Best New Design award was the BMW 335d and earning the Best New Technology award was the Audi Drive Select.

The Best New Green Technology honor was awarded to the Ford Next Generation Hybrid System and SmartGauge, which are available on the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid.

"The intent of the AJAC Best New Design award is to identify and reward the vehicle that exhibits the best balance of form and function", Russell shared.

Commenting on the technology-related awards, he added: "The AJAC Best New Technology award, presented by Shell Canada, was established to allow a group of technical writers to identify new and innovative technologies of significant benefit to the consumer — so much so, that it is likely to be emulated by other manufacturers.

"Past winners include everything from run-flat tires to various hybrid and suspension technologies. The significance of the Best New Technology award has been growing steadily over the past few years as has the degree of rigor to which entries are submitted," Russell stated.

"AJAC's Best New Green Technology award, presented by Shell Canada, was established to recognize innovative new developments in the auto industry that will be of benefit to the Canadian consumer," he further commented. "Virtually every manufacturer is working to reduce fuel consumption and exhaust emissions. We want to look at these efforts and award those we feel are worthy of recognition."

Russell added: "Continual development has made the modern passenger vehicle a very clean device. But we cannot let up on efforts to reduce the effect it has on the environment we will hand off to future generations."