2010 Volkswagen Polo – Click above for high-res image gallery
It can be a bit overwhelming when every magazine and their various editions pick their own Car of the Year each annum. Fortunately, the Europeans have it together. Literally.
Every year, seven of the continent's biggest car mags – each from a different country and in a different language – get together and jointly choose the European Car of the Year. The process is exhaustive, first identifying the candidates in the summer, then whittling it down to a shortlist of nominees in the fall before selecting their one winner for the year in the winter. And with temperatures dropping everywhere on this side of the equator and the new year fast approaching, the time has come once again.
For 2010, the jurists have selected the new Volkswagen Polo as their Car of the Year. The fifth-gen VW hatch beat out some stiff competition from the Citroen C3 Picaso, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Opel/Vauxhall Astra, Peugeot 3008, Skoda Yeti and Toyota iQ. It was a close race, the Toyota coming in a narrow second with 337 points to the Polo's 347. The Astra took third place by a wide margin at 221 points.
It's the first time a Volkswagen has won the award in some 17 years and only the second time Wolfsburg's taken the prize home in the forty-five years since the jury first sat. Sister company Audi has also won the award twice (for the 1973 Audi 80 and 1983 Audi 100), and Porsche once (for the 1978 Porsche 928).