Grabbing the accolade as Europe's 2015 Car of the Year is the Volkswagen Passat, the brand’s third in six years. The Passat gained 340 points from a panel of 58 European business and trade journalists. Running second is the Citroen C4 Cactus (248 points); followed by the new version of Mercedes-Benz’s C class (221 points), according to Hakan Matson, head of the Car of the Year jury.
Volkswagen commenced sales of the new versions of the midsize Passat lineup in 2014 as part of its bid to become the largest carmaker in the world by 2020. This will be the third time in six years that VW won the accolade, with the Golf compact and Polo subcompact grabbing the Car of the Year title in 2013 and in 2010, respectively.
The Passat is underpinned by VW’s new MQB platform, which enabled engineers to trim its weight by up to 85kg while providing more space for rear passengers and luggage. Likewise, the new Passat is powered by engines that are 20 percent more fuel efficient than its predecessor.
Heinz-Jakob Neusser, head of development at the VW brand, remarked that they are “very proud and honored" to win the title, especially for the Passat that boasts of a range of technology like on-board connectivity and new engines that include including a hybrid variant.
Other candidates for Europe's 2015 Car of the Year included the BMW 2-series Active Tourer, Ford Mondeo, Nissan Qashqai and Renault Twingo. The jury members come from publications in 22 European countries.