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Such an illustrious award has been presented to the newest vehicles on the market on an annual basis since 1964, making it one of the oldest achievements in the European car industry.
In order to determine the 2013 recipient of the award, 58 automotive journalists from 22 countries were first asked to nominate eight candidates for the final stage of voting. Each of these vehicles were then put through rigorous testing, whereby fuel efficiency, comfort, safety, driving properties, functionality, design and technological progress were all analysed and scrutinised.
Once the points for every element of criteria was totted up, the new Volkswagen Golf Mk7 emerged as the clear winner with 414 points to its name.
In comparison, the eagerly anticipated Toyota GT86 achieved 202 points to come in second place in the European Car of the Year 2013 vote, with the Volvo V40 rounding out the top three with 189 points.
After being presented with the award on Monday (March 4th) in the run-up to the opening of the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, professor Dr Martin Winterkorn, the chairman of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen AG, stated: “That's a superb result, and we are very proud of it.
“This most significant European award is the perfect final touch to the list of prizes we've already won. Over 29 million customers have made the Golf into the icon that it is. The Golf will continue this success story.”
Another impressive statistic to emerge from the European Car of the Year 2013 poll was the fact that this is only the second time that cars from the same range have won the prestigious trophy on two occasions. As such, the Volkswagen Golf joins a list that only the Renault Clio can lay claim to sharing.
The award-winning Volkswagen Golf Mk7 launches across the UK during the summer.