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Volkswagen Passat Gets 2015 European Car of the Year Crown

March 3, 2015

The year has been great for Volkswagen AG so far. In January, its Golf compact car was crowned the 2015 North American Car of the Year. Now, another one of its core models was honored with another award. On Monday, the Passat was named Car of the Year at the 2015 Geneva International Motor Show.

The Volkswagen Passat bested six other finalists for the award. The shortlist included the Ford Mondeo, BMW 2 Series Active Tourer, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Citroën C4 Cactus, Renault Twingo and the Nissan Qashqai.

The European Car of the Year winner is determined by a jury that consists of 58 automotive journalists from 22 European countries. Representation of each country depends on how big the country’s auto market is and how significant it is in terms of vehicle production. Some countries (like Germany, Great Britain and France) each have six representatives in the jury, while others have fewer members.

Each member of the jury is given 25 points, which must be divided among the aforementioned seven contenders. Jurors clearly loved the Passat, as it enjoyed a landslide victory—the large car received a total of 340 points. The Passat got nearly 100 points more than the Citroën C4 Cactus, which was in second place with 248 points. Rounding out the top three was the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, which got 221 points.

The Ford Mondeo ranked number four with 203 points. The finalists on the bottom three each garnered less than 200 points. The Nissan Qashqai got 160 points, the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer received 154 points while the Renault Twingo came in last with 124 points.

The European Car of the Year award started in 1964, with the Rover 2000 as the very first recipient of the honor. Based on the award’s long history, it seems European journalists do not favor German automakers. Mercedes-Benz has only won once while Munich-based rival BMW has yet to get the award. Interestingly, Fiat has nine Car of the Year titles. Last year’s winner was the Peugeot 308 compact car.

Volkswagen has won twice in the past, with both victories snagged by two core models. The Polo was Car of the Year in 2010, and the Golf won the same award in 2013.

Next month, another prestigious award will be handed out. The winners of the 2015 World Car of the Year Awards will be announced at the upcoming New York International Auto Show. The Passat is among the ten vehicles included in the shortlist for the World Car of the Year award. The top three contenders for each category will be revealed today in Geneva.

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