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The seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf has claimed the title of World Car of the Year (WCOTY) for 2013, marking the brand’s second consecutive win.

Voted the best new vehicle out of an initial entry list of forty-two cars, the Volkswagen Golf edged out finalist rivals the Mercedes-Benz A-Class, Porsche Boxster/Cayman and the combined entry of the Toyota 86/GT 86/Subaru BRZ/Scion FR-S to take the win.

Volkswagen Golf - Rear

Following last year’s triumph by the Volkswagen Up! and past wins by the Volkswagen Polo and Golf VI, in 2010 and 2009 respectively, chairman of the board of management of Volkswagen, Martin Winterkorn, said to win the award again shows the Golf is, and remains, in a class of its own all around the world.

“This car sets new benchmarks again and again, not least in terms of efficiency and environmental credentials. Soon, for instance, the Golf will also be launched as a plug-in hybrid and as a 100 per cent electric car.”

Porsche Cayman

In announcing its ultimate winner for the ninth year, the WCOTY jury – comprising 66 automotive journalists from twenty-three countries – said the Volkswagen Golf is as close to the perfect hatchback design as any car company has come yet.

“Right sized, but spacious, practical and comfortable inside, the latest Golf has been brought up to date with a fresh if evolutionary design, a range of new engines, plus an impressive list of equipment and safety features. What’s more, it’s fun to drive. If ever there was a car for everyman, the Golf is it.”

Ian Callum with Jaguar F-Type

While the Golf won the trophy for overall top honours, the Porsche Boxster/Cayman was deemed the best of the best for enthusiasts, being named World Performance Car. Pipping the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta and the combined entry of the Toyota 86/GT 86/Subaru BRZ/Scion FR-S, the sports car’s win is the German marques second in succession with the Porsche 911 winning last year.

The Jaguar F-Type beat the Mazda 6 and Aston Martin Vanquish to take out World Car Design of the Year, while the Tesla Model S was voted 2013 World Green Car ahead of the Renault Zoe and the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid.