The thing about awards – as parents out there can attest – is that they pretty much lost their lustre as soon as we started handing them out just for turning up.

Who changed the rules so that everyone wins a prize in Pass the Parcel? Who are you going to brag to about your 'I ran in a race' ribbon? And a gold-edged certificate for attendance? Really?

The sporty lines and wider haunches hold it in good stead.The sporty lines and wider haunches hold it in good stead.

So, when Holden brought the new Astra to Australia, fresh from its 2016 European Car of the Year win, it would have been easy to dismiss it as just another award. But thankfully, not all awards are created on the same cheap Dollar Shop certificate.

The prestigious European Car of the Year is judged on design, comfort, safety, economy, handling, performance, functionality, environmental requirements, driver satisfaction and price, by a jury of more than 60 motoring writers across Europe, and is one of the most sought after accolades.

The Opel/Vauxhall based Astra is one of just three cars to have won the top gong more than once in the Awards' 50-year history.

The first time the Astra took line honours was in 1985, the same year as it happens, that 2016 European Footballer of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo was born.

Ronaldo's soccer prowess is undoubtable, the Portugal and Real Madrid forward has lifted aloft more than his share of trophies for club and country. He has also scored almost 700 first-class goals.

You can bet that like the Astra, his wasn't a certificate for just showing up either.