It came close to being a clean sweep for Volkswagen and its subsidiaries, the German maker capturing three of the four trophies handed out in the annual World Car of the Year awards – the VW Polo taking the namesake Car of the Year honors.
The World Car of the Year awards are the result of balloting by 59 automotive journalists from around the world – tasked with the difficult challenge of picking winners who have significance beyond individual regional markets, like the U.S., Europe or Japan. Balloting is weighted to minimize the influence of any one region, organizers note.
That worked out well for Volkswagen, which grabbed the first of the awards handed out at the New York International Auto Show, the Green Car of the Year, with its subcompact Polo TDI diesel. That was a doubly significant victory. First, the VW offering was up against two hybrids, the new Honda Insight and the Toyota Prius, the world’s most popular gasoline-electric model. Meanwhile, diesels are little more than an also-ran technology in the key American market.