Volvo's brand-new V40 hatch finished third with 189 votes, followed by the overseas Ford B-Max (148), the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class (138), Renault's new Clio (128), the Peugeot 208 (120) and the Hyundai i30 (111).
"The new Golf has been recognized by the Jury for its overall balance and the outstanding achievements in safety, fuel efficiency, dynamics and comfort," the WCotY panel announced in Geneva this week.
"The nice-looking cabin, with a classic style and analogue instrumentation, is roomy and has materials of excellent feel which contribute to the perceived quality.”
The new Golf was revealed in five- and three-door hatch form last year, and the new wagon version made its debut in Geneva this week.
The all-new 2013 Golf hatch is set to arrive on our shores at the end of April.
Note: this article previously described the Golf as the World Car of the Year. This error has been corrected and we apologise for any confusion.