The new Volkswagen Polo has been named the 2010 European Car of the Year, narrowly beating the Totoya iQ.
Autocar magazine’s Steve Cropley confirmed that 25 of the 59 jurors selected the Polo as their car of the year.
"This year’s results show that the body of COTY jurors firmly believes that small, economical cars were the best of this year’s crop."The Polo is a very complete, very refined car which delivers all the consistent qualities VW has become so well known for," he said.
But Cropley denied that it was a one horse race, with 20 journalists choosing the iQ as their favourite.
"Given its unusual layout, controversial looks and premium price, the iQ did amazingly well, and it was nice to see good support for the Astra, whose maker, GM Europe, was victorious this year with the Insignia executive car."
Volkswagen chairman of the board of management, Prof Martin Winterkorn, said the company’s second ECOTY win – following the third generation Golf in 1992 – was a deserved result.
"The fifth generation Polo was designed to address customer expectations with even greater uncompromising standards."That is why we are naturally very pleased to see our efforts validated in the form of this award," he said.
The Polo officially debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September and VW confirmed that more than 130,000 Polos have already been ordered worldwide.
The new model comes with a choice of six engines ranging from 44 to 77kW and CO2 emissions from 139 g/km to as low as 96 g/km in the 1.6 TDI BlueMotion.
Another version of the BlueMotion due mid-2010 will use just 3.3 litres/100km and emit a class-leading and hybrid-beating 87 g/km CO2.
VW’s seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox (DSG) is available on the baby car for the first time, while the entry-level three-door 1.2 Trendline comes standard with ESC.
VW Australia’s Karl Gehling confirmed that the new Polo will arrive in Australia in the second quarter of next year but would not give specific details on the line-up.
"We haven’t got those details finalised yet, but we expect it will be a similar mix to the current range with petrol and diesel variants.
However he said that VW does not currently have any plans to add the BlueMotion to its local line-up.