The new Vauxhall Astra has beaten rivals, including the Jaguar XE and Volvo XC90, to become European Car of the Year
Matt Prior
29 February 2016

The new Vauxhall Astra has been announced as the winner of the European Car of the Year award for 2016.

At a ceremony this afternoon at Geneva’s exhibition centre, on the eve of the Geneva motor show, the Astra was announced the jury’s favourite by a narrow margin: it was given 309 points, versus the 294 points of the runner-up, the Volvo XC90.

The other finalists were the Audi A4 (189 points), BMW 7 Series (143 points), Jaguar XE (163 points), Mazda MX-5 (202 points) and Skoda Superb (147 points).

The jury consists of 58 motoring journalists from 22 European countries. Each juror has 25 points to allocate across the seven shortlisted cars, must give no single car more than 10 points, award no equal first place and distribute some points to at least five of the cars. There are seven sponsoring publications around Europe, of which Autocar is one.

All the judges’ scores will soon be published online at, but we can reveal that the overall voting didn’t match that of the UK’s judges. The six UK jurors would have had the Mazda MX-5 ahead by a significant margin, followed by the Volvo XC90, with the Astra and Skoda Superb equal third.

Accepting the award in Geneva, Opel boss Dr Karl-Thomas Neumann said: "It's totally fantastic. You cannot imagine how happy I am to stand here. The competition was tough and you could see it. And our people, the Opel people, are extremely proud.

"We have created the 11th generation of our compact car from a white piece of paper. It is the fifth COTY award Opel has won and the third in the past eight years. We will keep upsetting the upper class and keep exceeding our customer's needs."

The seventh-generation Vauxhall Astra is put through its paces on the UK roads

Read more Geneva motor show news

Our Verdict

Seventh generation Vauxhall Astra

Is it seventh time lucky for Vauxhall’s British-built Astra, as it takes the fight to the Ford Focus and Skoda Octavia for hatchback supremacy

Join the debate


29 February 2016
Drove one of these recently, very nice car..should do well for Vauxhall.

29 February 2016
Finally the truth is out - the UK and European journalists agree - the Jaguar XE is not as good as the hype suggests. Can Autocar now stop fawning over it?

1 March 2016
So by the same token, neither are the Audi A4, BMW 7, Volvo XC90.
Skoda Superb or Mazda MX5!

29 February 2016
You scratch my back I'll scratch yours. Must be Vauxhall's turn as this car adds nothing to the party.

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

29 February 2016
xxxx wrote:

You scratch my back I'll scratch yours. Must be Vauxhall's turn as this car adds nothing to the party.

I dont think any of these finalists do really, apart from the MX5 maybe.

29 February 2016
The Vauxhall badged model is only available in the rhd UK market. No matter, winning the European car of the Year Award is probably the kiss of death to an otherwise fine car. Didn't the original Astra (Opel Kadett) win a previous CotY Award back in the late Seventies?

29 February 2016
At least the Volvo XC90, with its hugely distracting and fiddly central screen, didn't win. The real driver's cars here were the XE and MX-5 but happy for the Ellesmere Port workers that the Astra won.

29 February 2016
When you look at the judging criteria, the Opel/Vauxhall Astra is indeed the right car to win this prize.

29 February 2016
MX5 was every real wheelmans car. The Jag a close second and the Audi 3rd - cannot understand in this company how Opel managed to garner this gong....oh wait a minute.Nanny Merkle, she is going to give all those nice immigrants one!!!

what's life without imagination

1 March 2016
COTY seems to me to be a bit like the Eurovision for cars. Rarely does the best car win.

Interesting to note over the years that Fiat have won it nine times with some pretty awful cars and yet for example BMW have never won it with some pretty decent offerings.


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