And the European Car of the Year 2010 is...

Published: 30 November 2009

Newsflash: VW's Polo has won the European Car of the Year gong, it was announced today in Madrid. It beat 33 contenders, including six other finalists to the top motoring prize in Europe.

The Polo narrowly won with 347 points, putting to rights its trophy-free record in Car of the Year. The runner-up was the innovative Toyota iQ, 10 points behind with 337 points. The results in full are:

1st VW Polo, 347 points
2nd Toyota iQ, 337 points
3rd Vauxhall Astra, 221 points
4th Skoda Yeti, 158 points
5th Mercedes E-class, 155 points
6th Peugeot 3008, 144 points
7th Citroen C3 Picasso, 113 points

Don't forget, you can vote in our poll on the homepage for your preferred Car of the Year winner. Check out the poll bottom right at CAR Online.

Here's how CAR editor and CoTY juror Phil McNamara voted. Each judge has 25 points to allocate as they see fit – at least five contenders must receive points, and your chosen winner must receive more points than your runners-up.

Citroen C3 Picasso – 2 points

None of this year’s shortlist are also-rans. The C3 scores with its loping ride, loveable design and spaciousness, but it’s the least engaging of the seven to drive.

Peugeot 3008 – 2 points
Peugeot is knocking on premium brand quality with its interiors, and the 3008 handles with surprising zest. But its cabin space is bested by a smaller SUV on this list, and it looks like a yawning guinea pig.

Vauxhall Astra – 2 points
The Astra is a nearly car. Its ride refinement and dynamics are much improved, but the odd gruff engine or excessively light steering set-up
count against. Likewise the interior is brilliant, aside from the claustrophobic rear seats. When you compare its generally higher prices with the unimpeachable Golf’s, it’s nearly but not quite.

Mercedes-Benz E-class – 4 points
Comfortable, dynamic, well-built, gadget-packed and with a drivetrain for all tastes, Mercedes has nailed its brief. Though who sneaked awkward, avant-garde exterior and drab interior onto the checklist?

Toyota iQ – 4 points
The iQ is the genuine innovator here. Its miniaturisation ethic with the diff, air-con, fuel tank and steering rack will hopefully pave the way for a new wave of smaller, hyper-manoeuvrable, compact cars. It’s not perfect, but it is progressive.

Volkswagen Polo – 5 points
The Polo enhances the supermini class, with its peerless refinement and sensational build-quality. Throw in a great drive and punchy, frugal
powertrains with novelties like the double-clutch transmission and you have a car vying for 2009’s top spot. Its staid appearance counts against it, in my view, though that sobriety may draw in more customers than it repels.

Skoda Yeti – 6 points
The Yeti utterly captures the downsizing zeitgeist, but stands alone in giving Europe a desirable, small SUV. It offers phenomenal value for money, bulletproof build and a low carbon footprint. It’s also refined and great fun to drive. But the Yeti’s trump card is its superb packaging, cramming room for the family into a pint-sized car. Despite its monstrous name, this charming car should win over most SUV critics. The Yeti is my Car of the Year.

By Tim Pollard

Executive editor, CAR website gatekeeper, motoring news magnet

  • The shortlist for the 2010 European Car of the Year award