NIssan’s Leaf has become the first all-electric car to win the coveted Car of the Year title, after one of the most diverse voting processes in the award’s history.
The Japanese hatchback scored 257 points, despite splitting opinion to the point where several jurors placed it in last place. Its total was nine points clear of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta (248 points) and 13 clear of the third-placed Vauxhall/Opel Meriva (244).
The remaining finalists were the Ford C-Max/Grand C-Max (224 points), the Citroën C3/DS3 (175), the Volvo S60 and V60 (145) and the Dacia Duster (132).
The awards are voted for by 59 jury members in 23 countries. Autocar’s Steve Cropley is one of the six British voters; he placed the Leaf at the top of his list.
“The Nissan Leaf was my own winner this year,” said Steve, “so I’m delighted to see it win. It does more than any rival to “normalise” electric cars.
“I’m disappointed for the Dacia Duster, my number two, though. I know it does relatively little to further the art of the motor car, but it does offer a lot of style and utility for amazingly little money. It undercuts SUVs like the VW Tiguan and Ford Kuga by up to £10,000: an amazing achievement. Still, it’s good to see the Giulietta, the best car from Alfa Romeo for many years, to be so well supported.”Read more on the COTY 2011 nominees