Judges in the World Car of the Year award have followed the example of UK motoring journalists and awarded their top prize to the latest Mazda MX-5 roadster.
In the European Car of the Year award, announced in March at the Geneva Motor Show, UK journalists on the judging panel placed the MX-5 first by several points, but votes by their European counterparts saw the award going to the Vauxhall/Opel Astra, with the MX-5 only third.
Now the international jury choosing the World Car of the Year, announced this week at the New York International Auto Show, has placed the Mazda first in a 23-strong list of new cars, the roadster beating fellow finalists the Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz GLC.
Like the European awards, the World Car of the Year jury consists of 73 motoring journalists, drawn from 23 countries, who give points in several categories to a list of eligible models chosen by a steering committee from newcomers on sale in at least two continents. The initial list of 23 is narrowed to a 10-strong shortlist and then the three finalists.
The title is the second for Mazda in the 12-year history of the awards, the Mazda2/Demio winning in 2008. And the MX-5 took a second award on the night, for Design of the Year, beating the Jaguar XE and a second Mazda, the CX-3.
Mazda’s North American CEO Masahiro Moro describes the awards as a wonderful honour for everyone connected with the company. “As our iconic MX-5 roadster approaches one million units of production, this award is proof that it is as young, vibrant, fun and relevant as ever, and proof that every Mazda looks as incredible as it drives, and drives as incredibly as it looks,” he says.