• Oct 23, 2009

Thirty years of the Japan Car of the Year - Click above for high-res image gallery

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.



Photos copyright ©2009 Drew Phillips / Weblogs, Inc.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 17 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Sorry, I replayed to the wrong person above.

      "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."

      It helps to read the article. If you look at the pictures on the wall behind the cars on display you will notice that these are cars that won in different catagories of the same year. Not all the "Car of the Year".

        • 5 Years Ago
        ARRRGGGGG. This was meant to be a reply to dukeisduke... and YES, I know I spelled "replied" wrong!

        AUTOBLOG! Your Comments Section SUCKS Absolute BALLZZ!!! Fix IT! You're F'in Run by AOL, I am sure they can find a way to fit in an "EDIT or DELETE" function into your dilapidated, archaic and restrictive comments section.

        AAHHHHH!!!
      • 5 Years Ago
      That abolutley pristine '85 MR2 has me salivating.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yes! A pristine condition AW11 would fetch a pretty penny. I wonder if some of there cars came from museums.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yawn...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Nice blue Legacy GT wagon, there.

      The MR2 was also sweet.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "No word yet on the as-of-yet unresolved acceleration issue that has gone deeper than the floormats..."
      • 5 Years Ago
      So what about cars released from October 2nd to October 31st? Are they just ignored? Or is there some regulation against releasing cars during that period in Japan?
        • 5 Years Ago
        I want to buy from your company please i want to know your prizes i am interested so get back to me as soon as possible.

        I am looking forward to hear from you very urgent.

        Best Regards.
        Dr.Usman Bello
        CEO uSMAN ASSOCIATE
        Reply to dr.usmanbello02@gmail.com
        • 5 Years Ago
        If you care about the BS award, you don't release your cars during that period.

        Better yet, always release your car during that period. You could then start up a marketing campaign saying that all of your vehicles would have won, if they'd been released sooner/later.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "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."

        It helps to read the article. If you look at the pictures on the wall behind the cars on display you will notice that these are cars that won in different catagories of the same year. Not all the "Car of the Year".
      • 5 Years Ago
      What's with all the vehicle mix-ups? Someone's prank? And as for the Mitsubishi Galant? Epic fail. If I had a nickel for all the beater Galants I've seen huffing blue smoke...
        • 5 Years Ago
        Actually the 99-03 Galant is one of my favorite affordable sedan designs, even today it doesn't look that outdated on the road (has aged very well), it was a design ahead of its time, back in 1999 it was definitely the best looking $20K family sedan out there. Now, the 2004 (-current) Galant is another story... I wonder what Mitsu is planning in the future, would be cool if they kind of stretched out the current Lancer and made it into Galant.
      JDM Life
      • 5 Years Ago
      Nice.



      I love the new Pruis. Very advanced much better then the previous one and looks very good too. Im starting to see a lot here in NY too.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @JDM Life
        @akboss302. Shut up assclown. The world is a better place without hearing from you. Thank you.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @JDM Life
        Yeah just like how you're seeing a lot of 'nice looking Camrys SE Sport with TRD'.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @JDM Life
        "There could be a turd in tinfoil with a Toyota badge on it and you would say its nice..."

        But the Saturn Aura winning North American Car of the Year, now, that was a completely different story... :-P
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