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Europe’s Car Of The Year is… VW’s Passat!

The Volkswagen Passat is the European Car Of The Year. The counting of the votes and handing over of the trophy is the event that formally kicks off the Geneva Show.

The Passat’s win was a pretty clear one, with a majority of the 58 jurors from across Europe giving it the nod. It took 340 points. The rest of the shortlist came home like this: Citröen C4 Cactus (248), Mercedes C-class (221), Ford Mondeo (203), Nissan Qashqai (160), BMW 2-series Active Tourer (154) and Renault Twingo (124).

The jury are all motoring journalists. I’m one. People ask me why dullish mainstream cars, including the Passat or last year’s Peugeot 308, win when we could have chosen a supercar or hyper-lux machine - like the BMW i8, Top Gear magazine’s car of 2014.

Well, Car of the Year is chosen from cars that have a reasonable expectation of selling decent numbers across the continent. They must also be all-new. And value for money is a consideration as well as technical merit. The award has to mean something for the general car buyer.

Actually, I put the Cactus top of my list. The Passat, C-class and Mondeo are all terrific, but they’re conventional. The Cactus is innovative. It looks brilliant and fresh, and it’s light and simple.

But that’s democracy for you. The Passat is an excellent car, I’ve said so myself, and it’s a worthy winner of the world’s most important mainstream car award. I suspect some of you may disagree?

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