Canadian auto journalists make their top picks for 2017

By Ben Castle
The Neepawa Banner

Four days, 65 journalists, 34 vehicles, 1,200 test drives.  Welcome to Testfest 2017!  Every year, a large group of Canada’s top motoring journalists from the professional association of Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) get together to test drive and evaluate the latest new or significantly improved vehicles making their debut to market.  Each vehicle in its class is compared back-to-back on the same roads, under the same conditions, on the same day, to ensure objective evaluation.  Each vehicle is rated subjectively by each tester on a scale of 0 to 10, in terms of styling/appearance, quality, occupant environment, noise, vibration and harshness, performance, vehicle dynamics, subjective value and interior ambiance but also objective data, such as acceleration, braking performance, cargo space, fuel economy, emissions and safety features.  When the data has all been compiled, each category of vehicle has a top pick and then the category winners are re-assessed to come out with a car of the year, utility vehicle of the year and also a green car and green utility vehicle of the year.  So what vehicles did AJAC pick as their favourite new vehicles for 2017?

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Out of Helen's kitchen - The 1930's

Helen Drysdale
The Neepawa Banner

What would be known as the Great Depression was ushered in by the stock market crash in 1929. That caused a worldwide economic depression. This was followed with a horrendous drought that struck the Prairie provinces, which were reliant on one single crop, wheat. What the drought did not get, the grasshoppers and the wind storms that tore away the topsoil did, and devastated agricultural production.

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Automotive - Faster, better, stronger Mustang


Ben Castle
The Neepawa Banner

Goldfinger, Thunderball, Bullitt, Gone in 60 Seconds, The Fast and the Furious, I am Legend, John Wick, Need for Speed— the Ford Mustang is arguably the biggest automotive icon of the silver screen.  The original Ford Mustang, launched in 1964 for the 1965 model year, created the popular “pony car” class, affordable 2+2 sporty coupes with long hoods and short rear decks. To commemorate 50 years of continuous production, Ford released an all-new, sixth generation Mustang for the 2015 model year.  The cheap interior was out and also controversially, the live rear axle replaced by a fully independent multi-link rear suspension.  However, this is the first Mustang to be officially sold globally and finally has the mechanical sophistication to compete with the best sports cars that Europe and Asia can offer.

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My perspective - What does it mean to be Canadian?

Kate Jackman - Atkinson
The Neepawa Banner

What does it mean to be Canadian? As the country prepares to celebrate its 150th birthday, many people, myself included, are asking this question. I was born in this country, as were my parents, you would think I would know what it means to be Canadian, but I don’t.

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Right in the centre - Chasing myths

Ken Waddell
The Neepawa Banner

In my recent reading I have come across two very interesting columns. One is by a well known Manitoba columnist and he states that people waste a lot of time on their computers and he particularly targets Twitter. Probably the most famous Twitter user is U.S president Donald Trump. He often blurts out something on Twitter. I have never used Twitter. I think maybe this paper has a Twitter account. Younger smarter people than me can use it if they wish. I think it is largely a waste of time and energy. That’s my opinion.

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