Mercedes scoop three World Car of the Year awards as stars of tomorrow also unveiled
I could foresee Mercedes winning some accolade in the World Car of the Year. But not three.
It just goes to show how tastes vary across the globe.
Don't get me wrong; all three were worthy winners on a number of fronts and deserve the accolade. It is a remarkable achievement, however.
With the announcement made against the backdrop of the New York Show where the likes of the new Jaguar XF, and a super-luxury Range Rover were revealed, there is no doubt the vote will be seen as a big boost to the top people's automaker.
For the record: the C-Class saloon was voted as the World Car of the Year. It beat the Volkswagen Passat and Ford Mustang (due here in October/November) who made it to the final three.
The Mercedes AMG GT won most votes to become the 2015 World Performance Car.
And the S-Class Coupe took the Luxury car award.
I was delighted to see that the Citroen C4 Cactus won the World Car Design.
That will encourage designers to take more of a chance.
And the BMW i8 deserved its gong for being the Green Car of the year, though its performance is well worthy of note too.
As you probably know I am a member of the World Car of the Year awards jury.
My main vote went, narrowly, to the Volkswagen Passat because I felt it represented quite a shift in quality on the previous model (see accompanying panel).
Meanwhile possible future contenders for the awards were rolled out at the New York Show.
They ranged from the sensational 570S Coupe from McLaren to the new Jaguar XF as well as models from Range Rover, Kia, Toyota, Volkswagen etc.
Also one to watch out for is the new Lexus RX which gets here in the first quarter of next year.
It is interesting to look back at what won previous awards. They included the likes of the Audi A3 (2014), the Volkswagen Golf (2013), the Volkswagen up! (2012), the Nissan Leaf (2011), the Volkswagen Polo (2010), the Volkswagen Golf (2009), the Mazda2 / Demio (2008), the Lexus LS460 (2007), the BMW 3-Series (2006), and the Audi A6 (2005).
The cars this year were selected and voted on by an international jury panel comprising 75 automotive journalists from 22 countries.
Each juror was appointed by the World Car Steering Committee "on the basis of his or her expertise, experience, credibility, and influence".
How I voted
It was a tough call. But after a lot of analysis I plumped for the Volkswagen Passat for this year's World Car of the Year award.
I allocated points under a variety of headings ranging from 'Occupant environment' to 'Value', 'Performance', 'Safety' etc. And this is how the votes fell:
I gave the Volkswagen Passat a total of 57 points out of a possible 70 across all sections.
The Mercedes C-Class got 56 votes.
It really was that close - a mere point between them. I gave the Nissan Qashqai a total of 55 points.
Then there were two cars tied on 53 - the Citroen C4 Cactus and the BMW 2-series Active Tourer.
And the new MINI (4dr and 5dr) totalled up 50 points.
For the record: The international accounting firm KPMG tabulates all jurors' ballots.