Other finalist vehicles bested by the Golf include the 2015 Ford Mustang, BMW 2 Series, Honda Fit, Hyundai Genesis, Kia Sedona, Lexus RC, Maserati Ghibli and Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
"VW floored our judges by reimagining the seventh generation Golf for nearly every need and want," Motor Trend Editor-in-Chief Ed Loh said in a statement. "From the value-laden Golf 1.8T and high-MPG Golf TDI to the legendary hot hatch GTI and all-electric e-Golf, there truly is a Golf for everyone."
As it did with its SUV of the Year contest last month, which was taken by the 2015 Honda CR-V, Motor Trend rated a total of 23 vehicles in six categories, ranging from how they look, to how efficient they are to their overall value. That was pared down to ten finalists before the Golf was declared the winner.
Scroll down for the celebratory press release from Volkswagen, and then head over to Motor Trend for an extended explainer on why the Golf reigned supreme for 2014.
Volkswagen's versatile hatchback family takes top honors among 23 new vehicle offerings
Herndon, VA / Los Angeles, CA - Motor Trend, one of the world's premier automotive authorities, today named the Volkswagen Golf family-Golf 1.8T, Golf TDI® Clean Diesel, Golf GTI and e-Golf models-as the 2015 Motor Trend Car of the Year.
"VW floored our judges by reimagining the seventh generation Golf for nearly every need and want," said Motor Trend Editor-in-Chief Ed Loh. "From the value-laden Golf 1.8T and high-MPG Golf TDI to the legendary hot hatch GTI and all-electric e-Golf, there truly is a Golf for everyone."
The 2015 Motor Trend Car of the Year award was presented to Michael Horn, President and CEO, Volkswagen of America, during an announcement Thursday morning.
"Volkswagen is extremely proud to receive this prestigious award," said Horn. "This recognition from Motor Trend is a testament to the versatility of the Golf family and the quality and value these cars offer in the compact hatchback segment."
Motor Trend's Car of the Year program is open to any all-new or substantially upgraded 2015 automobile. Rather than being compared against one another, contending vehicles are first put through Motor Trend's full battery of performance tests to measure acceleration, braking, and limit handling.
All contenders are then evaluated on three separate courses at a professional automotive test center before finalists are selected. Out of 23 contending 2015 models, Motor Trend's judges picked 10 Car of the Year finalists, including the Volkswagen Golf. The other finalists were:
BMW 2 Series
Each finalist is then driven on a real-world road loop that provides a range of surfaces and traffic conditions to evaluate ride and handling, engine and transmission smoothness and responsiveness, wind and road noise, and ergonomics. In the final phase of Car of the Year, Motor Trend judges debate and evaluate each vehicle against the award's six key criteria:
Design Advancement-well-executed exterior and interior styling; innovative vehicle packaging; good selection and use of materials.
Engineering Excellence-total vehicle concept and execution; clever solutions to packaging, manufacturing and dynamics issues; cost-effective tech that benefits the consumer.
Efficiency-low fuel consumption and carbon footprint, relative to the vehicle's competitive set.
Safety-a vehicle's ability to help the driver avoid a crash, as well as the secondary safety measures that protect its occupants from harm during a crash.
Value-competitive price and equipment levels, measured against those of vehicles in the same market segment.
Performance of Intended Function-how well the vehicle does the job its planners, designers, and engineers intended it to do.
After 9 full days of testing, driving and deliberating, Motor Trend selected the Volkswagen Golf as represented by four powertrain derivatives as its 2015 Car of the Year. The seventh-generation version of Volkswagen's best-selling model is bigger, lighter, more fuel-efficient, and even more versatile than the previous Golf model.
Based on the new Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) architecture, the German-engineered 2015 Golf family is currently available in four different versions: fun-to-drive Golf 1.8T, frugal Golf TDI Clean Diesel, sporty Golf GTI and the all-electric, zero-tailpipe emissions e-Golf. With a host of newly available driver assistance features and excellent EPA estimated highway fuel economy, the all-new Golf is a standout in the compact class. Reinforcing this, the lineup will be rounded out in early 2015 with the all-new 292-horsepower, all-wheel-drive Golf R and the Golf SportWagen range.
With a starting price of $17,995 (plus $820 destination and handling) for the 2-door Golf S model, the 2015 Golf family offers advances in interior refinement, exterior styling, and a wealth of new equipment at even the lowest trim lines; the result is truly a Golf for everyone.
For more information about the award, judging process, and the contenders, check out the January 2015 issue of Motor Trend, visit www.motortrend.com and search the hashtags #MTCOTY, #VW and #Ready.Set.Golf on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
About Volkswagen of America, Inc.
Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc., an operating unit of Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (VWoA) is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. VWoA's operations in the United States include research and development, parts and vehicle processing, parts distribution centers, sales, marketing and service offices, financial service centers, and its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Volkswagen Group is one of the world's largest producers of passenger cars and Europe's largest automaker. VWoA sells the Beetle, Beetle Convertible, Eos, Golf, GTI, Jetta, Jetta SportWagen, Passat, CC, Tiguan, and Touareg vehicles through approximately 649 independent U.S. dealers.
About Motor Trend
Motor Trend®, a media brand of TEN: The Enthusiast Network, was founded in 1949 and is internationally recognized as one of the leading brands in the automotive category. The Motor Trend brand is comprised of Motor Trend magazine; the award-winning website MotorTrend.com; Motor Trend Auto Shows; Motor Trend Audio; Motor Trend en Espanol; Motor Trend India; and the renowned Motor Trend Car of the Year, SUV of the Year, Truck of the Year, and Best Driver's Car awards programs.
About TEN: The Enthusiast Network
TEN: The Enthusiast Network is the world's premier network of enthusiast brands, such as Motor Trend, Automobile, Hot Rod, Surfer, Transworld and GrindTV. With more than 50 publications, 60 websites, 50 events, 1,000 branded products, the world's largest automotive VOD channel, and the world's largest action/adventure sports media platform, TEN inspires enthusiasts to pursue their passions. For more information, visit www.enthusiastnetwork.com.
This press release and images of the 2015 Golf are available at media.vw.com. Follow us @VWNews
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