Germany’s Volkswagen Passat, finishing in front of the runner-ups Citroen C4 Cactus and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, has won the well-known and prestigious car of the year award for the European region.
The award was presented in front of a large audience at the Geneva motor show, with the German saloon topping the short list that consisted of seven different vehicles: VW Passat, Citroen C4 Cactus, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, BMW 2 Series Active Tourer, Ford Mondeo, Nissan Qashqai and the Renault Twingo. The familiar model, which has been refreshed with a new generation recently, topped the list with 340 points, well ahead of the 248 points obtained by the C4 Cactus or the 221 points awarded to the C-Class. The result was announced just prior to the first press day of the Geneva auto show, with the jury president Hakan Matson saying the Passat could very well be one of the most successful European models, after 41 years on the market. “This formula for success is carried forward in the new 2015 Passat, built on VW’s acclaimed MQB platform. The CotY 2015 winner is a typical VW in that it delivers quality and functionality in every aspect,” he commented.
The jury has 58 members, 22 European countries and prominent motoring media outlets. The national representation is judged by the size of the country’s auto market and its place among manufacturers – Germany, Great Britain, France, Italy and Spain have six members each, then the rest have proportionally fewer representatives. The new Passat has succeeded last year’s winner, the Peugeot 308. Meanwhile, the rest of the competitors came in as follows: Ford Mondeo finished fourth with 203 points, fifth was the Nissan Qashqai with 160 points, followed by the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer with 254 points and last, but not least, the Renault Twingo with 124 points.