On the eve of the press opening of the Geneva Motor Show, the Volkswagen Passat has been awarded the title of European Car of the Year 2015.
It won out by some margin over its nearest rival.
“We are extremely proud of this accolade,” said Martin Winterkorn, CEO of Volkswagen, at the prize-giving ceremony in Geneva. “In the new Passat we have again succeeded in developing a car that sets the standards for its class in terms of technology and quality. This honour is a tremendous confirmation for the work of our engineers, designers and the entire team. The new Passat shows that the Volkswagen brand has the right answers to the challenges of our time.”
One of the oldest and most well-known awards in Europe, Car of the Year has been honouring the best new releases in the car industry every year since 1964. The jury, consisting of 58 European motoring journalists from 22 countries, had nominated seven candidates ahead of the final. Michael McAleer from The Irish Times is the Irish juror.
In the preceding months, these candidates had undergone detailed testing, comparisons and evaluations based on criteria such as economy, comfort, safety, driving characteristics, functionality, design and technical progress.
The new Passat is available in Ireland from €27,295 or from €329 per month on PCP.
Late this year, a plug-in hybrid variant, the GTE, will become available, powered by a 1.4 litre TSI engine and an electric motor. Fuel consumption is officially less than 2.0 l/100 km, resulting in a driving range of over 1,000 km.
Last year’s winner of the coveted European Car of the Year Award was the Peugeot 308.
Keep an eye on our twitter feed @clarechampion for the latest launches from Geneva today. A full report will be in this week’s Clare Champion.