The Volkswagen Polo beat stiff competition, sweeping away luxury and green contenders to become this year's World Car of the Year. The Polo won out against the luxury Mercedes-Benz E-Class and hybrid Toyota Prius.
Almost unanimously, the jurors described the Polo is one of VW's star performers, holding its own in the most competitive market segment. "Boasting best-in-segment packaging and handling, this supermini's blend of classy looks, reliability and quality has meant it’s consistently been one the markets best-sellers," they said.
"Draped in head-turning stylish curves, the Polo is certainly one of the classiest small VWs ever built. "It's also safe with a maximum five-star Euro NCAP crash-test rating."
Dr Martin Winterkorn, chairman of the board of management of Volkswagen AG, says he is honored that the small hatch won. "After the great triumph of the Golf last year, we are delighted to repeat this success with the new Polo," he says.
Volkswagen had a double world car win. The 2010 World Green Car of the Year award was taken out by three models instead of one - the Volkswagen Polo, Golf and Passat, all featuring BlueMotion fuel-saving technologies.
It was noted by the awards group that jurors felt that it is not necessary to add an electric motor and a heavy battery pack to achieve class-leading efficiency. Although the Polo is still three months away from local showrooms, it has been a sell-out success in Europe.
It was chosen from an initial entry list of 30 cars nominated by 59 World Car jurors - including Carsguide editor Paul Gover - from 25 countries. Each juror was appointed by the a steering committee on the basis of their expertise, experience, credibility, and influence.
In January the jurors narrowed their choices to a top 10 shortlist. At a second round of voting in February jurors were asked to score the top 10 candidates based on merit, value, safety, environment, significance and emotional appeal.
Now in their seventh year, the annual World Car awards have become one of the world's most prestigious, credible and significant programs of its kind. This year's World Performance Car of the Year title went to the Audi R8 V10.
Chevrolet (Holden) Cruze
2009 Volkswagen Golf
2007 Lexus LS460
2006 BMW 3 series
2005 Audi A6