TORONTO, Feb. 14, 2013 /CNW/ - In an early morning press conference at the opening of the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto, the Hyundai Santa Fe 2.0 T was declared the 2013 Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year by the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC). " The Santa Fe is one of our most important vehicles in this market. So, when Hyundai decided to redesign the vehicle, we really wanted to get it right," said Steve Kelleher, President and CEO, Hyundai Auto Canada Corp . "The Santa Fe competes in Canada's growing crossover segment, so for it to win Canadian Utility of the Year is vindication for all the effort Hyundai designers and engineers invested into the project. The Santa Fe trades on the latest Hyundai hallmarks, including great styling, fuel efficiency, quality, value and safety. We couldn't be more proud of the award AJAC has honoured us with today." The Hyundai Santa Fe 2.0 T was also the winner of the "Best New SUV / CUV ( $35,000 - $60,000) class". Eleven "Best New" category winners were eligible to compete for the top honours of being either overall Canadian Car of the Year or Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year. The category winners were announced last October during the association's annual vehicle evaluation event known as "TestFest." Eighty of Canada's top automotive journalists spent four intensive days in Niagara-on-the-Lake conducting back-to-back comparative testing of 180 "all new" or "significantly new" 2013 vehicles. This was no easy task. Their vote results were determined from more than 40,000 individual data points established in the testing program. And, before submitting their ballots, the AJAC journalists completed almost 2,000 individual road-tests during TestFest, comparing vehicles back-to-back on the same roads under the same conditions. These tests were conducted as part of AJAC'S mission to serve consumers by providing them with factual, objective information, versus just personal opinion. Shell Canada is the official fuel supplier of the event. The journalists' vote results were then compiled on-site by the international accounting firm KPMG and kept confidential even from AJAC until the winners' press conference today.