Volkswagen’s new Polo narrowly beat the Toyota iQ to win the 2010 European Car of the Year award for the first time in 18 years when the third generation Golf beat the Opel Astra and Citroen ZX.
The Polo scored 347 points against 337 for the iQ city car. The new Opel Astra was No. 3 with 221 points followed by the Skoda Yeti (158 points); the Mercedes-Benz E-Class (155 points); the Peugeot 3008 (144 points) and the Citroen C3 Picasso (113 points).
VW CEO Martin Winterkorn said the new Polo, the fifth generation of the subcompact car, was designed to address customer expectations with even greater uncompromising standards.
“We are naturally very pleased to see our efforts validated in the form of this award,” Winterkorn said in a statement.
The Car of the Year is one of Europe’s oldest and most valued awards. Some 59 motoring journalists from 23 European countries cast votes.
Hakan Matson, president of the jury, said the jury members were impressed by the Polo’s comprehensive safety equipment, advanced engine range and fuel-efficient BlueMotion variant.
VW said it has received more than 130,000 orders for the new Polo since its launch in Europe in May.