The nostalgically funky Fiat 500 has taken home the 2009 World Car Design of the Year award, while the monstrous Nissan GT-R has stormed to victory for the 2009 World Performance Car of the Year award.
Now ? and perhaps of little surprise - the 2009 Volkswagen Golf has been crowned World Car of the Year.
Panelists for WCOTY described the Golf VI as having a feeling ?more expensive than other family hatches, thanks to its solid build and high quality cabin (and) more refined than its rivals".
Chosen from an initial field of 51 entries, finalists for 2009 World Car of the Year included the Audi A4 and A4 Avant, BMW 7 Series, Citroen C5 Sedan and Tourer, Fiat 500, Honda Fit/Jazz, Jaguar XF, Mazda6/Atenza and Nissan GT-R.
Stefan Jacoby, President/CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, accepted the award on behalf of the carmaker.
"We are honored that our new sixth generation Golf was named World Car of the Year," he said.
"Golf is an iconic nameplate for the Volkswagen Brand and is known throughout the world.
The Golf is Volkswagen's best selling nameplate with more than 26 million units sold in over 120 countries."
The WCOTY panel pointed to the Golf?s more matured, aggressive styling as a key factor in the award, while the upgraded interior offered a more expensive feel than the previous generation.
WCOTY jurors observed that, ?The new Golf VI employs Scirocco styled grille and headlights and larger tail lights. However, it also feels more expensive than other family hatches, thanks to its solid build and high quality cabin.
Customers get a choice of nothing less than six engines including the punchy and efficient 158hp 1.4-litre TSI unit that features both a turbo and supercharger.
The Golf is also available with the firm?s new 2.0-litre common-rail diesel motor with either 108 or 138hp. It goes without saying that choosing between the slick 6-speed manual and superb DSG twin-clutch gearbox can be difficult.
Sitting on an outstanding chassis, the VW is more refined than its rivals, especially when highway cruising. Wind, road and engine noise are kept to a minimum, making the Golf a relaxing long distance companion.?
Since 1974, when the Golf was initially introduced to replace the Beetle as Volkswagen?s entry-level volume seller, the company has sold over 26 million units in 120 countries.