Car of the Year is one of the oldest and best-known automotive awards in Europe, honouring the best new releases in the car industry every year since 1964. Two current Volkswagen models have received the award in the past – the Polo in 2010 and the Golf in 2013.
“We are extremely proud of this accolade,” said Prof. Martin Winterkorn, CEO of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, 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.”
A jury of 58 European motoring journalists from 22 countries nominated seven candidate cars ahead of the final. The finalists underwent detailed testing, comparisons and evaluations against criteria such as economy, comfort, safety, driving characteristics, functionality, design and technical progress. The new Passat triumphed over its rivals with a total score of 340 points.
Heinz-Jakob Neusser, Member of the Board of Management Volkswagen Brand for the Development Division, added: “We are delighted by the honour of Car of the Year 2015. This accolade has a very special significance for us because it is awarded by independent international trade journalists. In addition, the honour is known to have a high standing for our customers.”
Over the years, the Passat has been one of the most successful mid-class cars in the world and, with 1.1 million units (in 2014) one of the highest-volume series of the Volkswagen Group worldwide. The eighth generation model is regarded as one of the most innovative cars in its class.
Using advanced engineering methods, Volkswagen has created a significantly more dynamic design, including a lower body, longer wheelbase and larger wheels. Although the interior length has not changed, the new Passat has more space than its predecessor.
A host of great new technologies have been added, including Active Info Display (a completely digital instrument cluster), extendable head-up display, and systems such as an app-based Rear Seat Entertainment for tablets, Front Assist with City Emergency Braking and Pedestrian Monitoring. The new Passat also features three world firsts: Emergency Assist (vehicle stops in emergency), Trailer Assist (assisted manoeuvring with a trailer) and Traffic Jam Assist. The new Passat is available with ten direct injection turbocharged petrol and diesel engines which cover a power range from 88 kW/120PS to 206 kW/280PS.