Earlier today, Motor Trend announced that the Volkswagen Golf was its official selection for their 2015 Car of the Year Award. The award was given for all four versions of the new Golf, which have each somehow managed to be lighter and more fuel efficient than previous years while adding extra space.
“VW floored our judges by re-imagining the seventh generation Golf for nearly every need and want,” said Motor Trend Editor-in-Chief Ed Loh. “From the value-laden Golf 1.8T and high-MPG Golf TDI to the legendary hot hatch GTI and all-electric e-Golf, there truly is a Golf for everyone.”
“The Golf is studied by all the auto industry. It’s a model of packaging efficiency.”
In helping select the Car of the Year, Motor Trend went on a full nine-day testing process. Initially, the competition was open to 23 new competing vehicles. Each of these rides went through a tenacious testing process to measure acceleration, braking, and limit handling. These introductory tests helped narrow the field down from 23 to a final ten that included the:
- Audi A3
- BMW 2 Series
- Ford Mustang
- Honda Fit
- Hyundai Genesis
- Kia Sedona
- Lexus RC
- Maserati Ghibli
- Mercedes-Benz C-Class
- Volkswagen Golf
After the top ten finalists were carved out, the vehicles were then put on a real world driving loop that went through a number of surfaces and traffic conditions to help determine ride and handling, engine and transmission smoothness and responsiveness, wind and road noise, and ergonomics. Gathering the results, Motor Trend was then ready for their final evaluation, which was divided into six official categories…
Design Advancement – well-executed exterior and interior styling; innovative vehicle packaging; good selection and use of materials.
Engineering Excellence – total vehicle concept and execution; clever solutions to packaging, manufacturing and dynamics issues; cost-effective tech that benefits the consumer.
Efficiency – low fuel consumption and carbon footprint, relative to the vehicle’s competitive set.
Safety – a vehicle’s ability to help the driver avoid a crash, as well as the secondary safety measures that protect its occupants from harm during a crash.
Value – competitive price and equipment levels, measured against those of vehicles in the same market segment
In the end, there was only one legitimate choice to take home the prize: the Volkswagen Golf. Their victory marked only the second time in four decades that the German automaker has won the award from Motor Trend, the previous time coming in 1985 for the GTI.
Motor Trend’s Rory Jurnecka says, “For 2015, the Golf was a near-unanimous choice among our judges by virtue of its strong performance in each of our six Car of the Year criteria.”