For the past 30 years, Japan has declared a car of the year, an award given to newly released or redesigned vehicles released from November 1st of the previous year to October 1st of the current year. More than 60 jurors composed of Japanese journalists receive an allocation of votes, and the car with the most votes comes away with the crown.
This year the Toyota Prius narrowly edged out the Honda Insight, continuing the recent trend of environmentally-friendly winners. Other notable winners included the new Volkswagen Golf, which was named the Import Car of the Year, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, which was declared to have the Most Advanced Technology. The Nissan Fairlady Z won the category of Most Fun, and finally the Subaru Legacy took top honors for Best Value.
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the award, the Tokyo Motor Show also organized a display of past winners, starting with the Mazda Familia 3-door Hatch Back in 1980-1981 and finishing with last year's winner, the Toyota IQ. We've included the winners from every year (some cars on display won alternate categories, like the Toyota Supra from 1993-1994) in the high-res gallery below.
Related GalleryThirty Years of the Japan Car of the Year
Photos copyright ©2009 Drew Phillips / Weblogs, Inc.