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VW Passat Is European Car Of The Year 2015

By raccars Published

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The European Car of the Year awards, announced as usual, on the eve of the Geneva Motor Show, have seen the Volkswagen Passat crowned top dog. The Passat was a clear winner, with the Citroen C4 Cactus as runner up and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class in third. However with 340 votes, the Passat's 92 point margin over the second place Citroen saw it take one of the highest leads in the history of the awards.

Fourth place went to the Ford Mondeo, fifth to the Nissan Qashqai, sixth to the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer and seventh to the Renault Twingo.

The European Car of the Year award is chosen by a panel of 58 judges, all automotive journalists from 22 European nations. The judging process starts with a list of 31 contenders, which is whittled down to a shortlist of seven, before a final winner is chosen. To be eligible for the competition, new cars must be launched within the 12 months preceding the award date.

This is the third time the award has gone to Volkswagen in five years, with the Polo taking the prize in 2010 and the Golf in 2013.

The Passat has now been on the market for 41 years and is currently in its eighth generation. Forming a useful bridge between the mainstream and premium markets, it is one of the most important models in the VW Group arsenal. The latest model Passat is heavily based on the Golf and uses VW's much praised MQB architecture. The Car of the Year judges were particularly impressed with the Passat's combination of functionality and quality. It's lighter yet stiffer than the previous model, and more spacious than its predecessor, even though it forms a smaller footprint on the road. The Passat also offers more luggage space than any other car in its class. A super efficient, yet very willing range of engines, also won points. Petrol and diesel models are available and a plug in hybrid GTE variant is due to reach the market shortly.

In second place, the judges found the unconventional appeal of the Citroen C4 Cactus refreshing and praised its combination of practicality and good looks.

Last year's winner was the Peugeot 308, which the jury considered to be a huge step up in quality from its predecessor. It was followed by two electric cars - the BMW i3 and Tesla S - in second and third place.

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