The all-new Volkswagen Golf Mk7 has claimed the title of European Car of the Year for 2013.
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The new seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf took top spot in the European awards, with the 58-member COTY jury awarding it a total of 414 points, relegating the freshest affordable sports car on the market, the Toyota 86/Subaru BR-Z twins, to second with 202 points, while in third place was the recently released Volvo V40 with 189 points.

The win for Golf is its first since the third-generation Volkswagen small car took victory in 1992 and comes after the Up! finished second in last year’s awards behind the Opel Ampera/Chevrolet Volt.

Volkswagen Golf Mk7 - 2

According to COTY, every generation of Volkswagen Golf has finished in the top three of the awards for the past 38 years, with the original Golf coming runner-up in 1975.

The COTY jury, representing 22 European countries, recognised the new Golf for its overall balance and its outstanding achievements in safety, fuel efficiency, dynamics and comfort. Noted highlights included the Golf Mk7’s new lightweight MQB platform-based structure, heightened cabin quality and space, and the hatchback’s road behaviour, ride and aural comfort. Extra credit was also handed out to Volkswagen with a nod for retaining the iconic car’s traditional image.

Volkswagen Golf Mk7 - 3

The new Volkswagen Golf launches locally next month with the initial line-up to be joined later by the 162kW/350Nm Golf GTI (and the 169kW Golf GTI Performance model) and the 135kW/380Nm Golf GTD diesel.

The European Car of the Year aims to establish one decisive winner based on a criteria of design, comfort, safety, economy, handling, performance, functionality, environmental requirements, driver satisfaction, price, technical innovation and value for money, with no categories, sub-divisions or class winners selected.