The next-generation Volkswagen Passat has been presented with the 2015 European Car of the Year award prior to the start of the Geneva motor show.

Der neue Passat ist Car of the Year 2015

This year's European Car of the Year award was decided by a 58 member jury drawn from publications across the European Union.

In the final round of voting, the Volkswagen Passat scored 340 points, easily beating out its closest contender, the Citroen C4 Cactus on 248 points. Rounding out the podium places was the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, which finished with 221 points.

In the organising committee's words, the Passat won because it was a "typical VW in that it delivers quality and functionality in every aspect". They also noted that while the new vehicle is lighter and has a smaller footprint than the outgoing model, it is also stiffer and roomier than the previous-gen Passat.

The standings for the finalists are as follows:

  1. Volkswagen Passat - 340 points
  2. Citroen C4 Cactus - 248 points
  3. Mercedes-Benz C-Class - 221 points
  4. Ford Mondeo - 203 points
  5. Nissan Qashqai - 160 points
  6. BMW 2 Series Active Tourer - 154 points
  7. Renault Twingo - 124 points

The winners over the last decade includes:

2014 - Peugeot 308

2013 – Volkswagen Golf

2012 – Opel Ampera/Chevrolet Volt

2011 – Nissan Leaf

2010 – Volkswagen Polo

2009 – Opel Insignia

2008 – Fiat 500

2007 – Ford S-Max

2006 – Renault Clio

2005 – Toyota Prius

2004 – Fiat Panda