The Vauxhall Astra has been named "Car of the Year" by close to 60 journalists from around Europe, this comes just ahead of the start of the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, a great victory for Vauxhall and its parent company - General Motors.
The selection on Monday of the hatchback comes as the General Motors has been turning the corner with its European operations, announcing record profits and sales just a month ago.
Vauxhall CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann heaped praise on the "the toughest jury in the industry," and said the car's designers made a lighter, more spacious and elegant version with this 2015 edition, which has racked up 130,000 sales in and around Europe. The Vauxhall Astra has been a big hit here in the UK as sales continue to grow.
Seven European car magazines were behind the judging of the award. Most of the seven finalists -- except the Jaguar XE and the BMW 7-Series sedan -- were run of the mill cars. The others were the Audi A4, the Mazda MX5, the Skoda Superb and the Volvo XC90 SUV.
This year was a tough race! The Car of the Year jury, made up of 58 journalists from 22 European countries, has already chosen their short-list of seven favourites from a total of 29 models that qualified initially.
After all the judging was completed the scoreboard looked like this –
Opel / Vauxhall Astra – 309 points
Volvo XC90 – 294 points
Mazda MX5 – 202 points
Audi A4 – 189 points
Jaguar XE – 163 points
Skoda Superb – 147 points
BMW 7 Series – 143 points