Top five favourite new vehicles from AJAC TestFest 2019

ajac testfest 2019 booklet

AJAC TestFest 2019, part of the Canadian Car of the Year awards program, just wrapped up a couple of weeks ago in Bowmanville, Ontario. Photos by Benjamin Yong.



The newest cars, trucks, vans, SUVs and pickup trucks were once again gathered in one place for the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) TestFest event in late October. Manufacturers brought out a slew of products that are just now hitting showroom floors, and as expected, hybrids, plug-in hybrids and pure electric vehicles are representing a bigger piece of the pie. In today’s post, we highlight a few of favourite cars and EVs we drove across different segments.

Small car: Toyota Corolla Hatchback

After missing from the North American lineup for quite some time, a hatchback has finally returned to the Toyota stable. Featuring fun, stylish good looks, the five door is propelled by a 2.0-litre four cylinder mated to either a six-speed manual or CVT, sits on a sport-tuned suspension and comes standard with Apple CarPlay connectivity.

Mid-size premium car: Lexus ES

At a time when many automakers are rethinking sedans, Lexus is just making theirs better. The Executive Sedan is built on the bigger, quieter and better handling GA-K global platform and for the first time, introduces a racy F SPORT variant to the model. A silky smooth 302 horsepower 3.5-litre V6 rests under the hood.

Sports-performance car: Hyundai Veloster Turbo

Hyundai’s quirky hot hatch goes 2.0, retaining an asymmetrical two-plus-one body style and wedge-like shape but with more pronounced wheel arches and a lower roofline. A grade-topping turbocharged version pumps out 201 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque, and guarantees an engaging experience whether buyers choose a six-speed manual gearbox or the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

EV: Volkswagen e-Golf

We’ve covered VW’s electrified version of the Golf before, and it’s because the e-Golf really is one of the better regular-automobile-turned-EV’s out there. Boasting a 100-kilowatt electric motor generating 134 horsepower and 214 lb-ft of torque, the green vehicle has a maximum range of 200-kilometre range and a fuel economy equivalent rating of 2.0 Le/100 km.

Premium EV: Jaguar I-PACE

Why Jaguar named the gasoline-consuming crossover the E-PACE and this battery-powered I-PACE is unknown, however what is certain is how much of a blast the latter is to drive. The thing that may surprise you most about the zero-emissions SUV is how amazingly quick it is. Getting from 0 to 100 km/h happens in 4.8 seconds, and if operated sensibly, up to 470 kilometres of range can be achieved on a single charge.

ajac testfest 2019 booklet

2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback

2019 lexus es

2019 Jaguar I-PACE

2019 Hyundai Veloster Turbo

2018 Volkswagen e-Golf

Posted by Benjamin Yong

Benjamin Yong is a freelance journalist and communications professional living in Richmond, B.C. He is often found writing about cars and the auto industry, amongst other things, or driving around in his work-in-progress 1990 Mazda MX-5. Twitter: @b_yong Instagram: @popuplights