Pioneering all-electric five-door hatchback scoops the prestigious Car of the Year award for 2011
29 November 2010

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).

See pics of all this year's seven Car of the Year finalists

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

See all the latest Nissan Leaf reviews, news and video

Join the debate


29 November 2010

I don't get how this car can get COTY 2011 when the basic problem for electric cars still remains...How are we supposed to plan a trip in a car that probably will make 100 miles in real life driving?

29 November 2010

I don't think the Leaf deserves the COTY award. It is undoubtedly a very clever car and I can understand it's nomination, but I think it's too flawed to win. There are the obvious range and price issues, but also the boot space appears compromised, the exterior design is challenging, and the interior just looks bland.

29 November 2010

The FIAT 500 won in 2008. How are we supposed to plan a trip in a car that can't take 4 adults and their luggage for a 2 week trip away? One size does not fit all, but why should that stop it being "car of the year"? A largely nonsense award in my opinion anyway.

29 November 2010

To place the Nissan above such cars as the Alfa Romeo Guillietta and the Ford C-Max or Vauxhall Meriva is just so out of touch with reality. On purchase costs alone the Nissan is well out of reach of many ordinary families. It is likely to be bought by many "first adopters" to whom costs don't matter. Just goes to show how out of touch with reality many motoring journos are with their endless supply of "free" long-term test cars (from the top of the range mostly - just look at Autocars' long term fleet for a start). Given Mr Cropley's own selection of long-term cars in recent times - Aston Martin, Land Rover Discovery, Mercedes S-Class - it seems particularly perverse of him to place the Nissan at the top of his list and the Dacia at second place. I have long admired and followed his writings since his early days at CAR, but am having second thoughts now, sadly.

Enjoying a Fabia VRs - affordable performance

29 November 2010

So aside from how the car is powered, how does the Leaf compare? I suspect it won purely because it's electric. And that's despite the irony that even though electric cars work better in city environments, most city people can't dangle a power cable out of their flat window, to the space they found 1/2 mile down the road.

I'm not against electric cars as such, but in any car, regardless of the engine, I demand the ability to travel the 150 miles to my parents and back in a reasonable timeframe. I suspect the Volt will be far more significant.

29 November 2010

Where do you plug these cars in, how many cities have them in place? Whats to stop the vandals from a; unplugging it and b; ripping off the flap lid on the bonnet you have to raise to open the point for the plug?? 100mls what a joke

29 November 2010

I think the Leaf deserves to win, not COTY but 2COTY - 'second car of the year'. I doubt many people will dare buy a car like this as their only car, but as a second car for those fortunate enough to also have a driveway then it makes excellent sense.

Oh - and by the way - arguments like 'must have 4 seats and space for luggage for 2 weeks' means hundreds of 2 seaters or 2+2s should never be bought...

29 November 2010

i could never vote for a car that can only cover 100 miles. But i wonder how far a leaf would go today, with the heater on full, lights etc. Would you feel happy to tackle a 75 mile journey today in a Leaf, wondering if its going to leave you in a snow drift when it runs out of juice, without even the power left in it to run the heater until the recovery truck arrives?

I dont think there was a stoundout car in the running this year, but it wasnt the leaf! Today from that list my choice would be the Duster

29 November 2010

[quote deppi]How are we supposed to plan a trip in a car that probably will make 100 miles in real life driving[/quote]Why ask that question?

There is no legislation demanding we buy cars with limited battery distance, not even that we use them in cities. There exist incentives to buy them and that's it.

As research shows, we drive no more than an average of 2.2 miles a day to work. Human nature has not altered since cave dwelling, thirty minutes journey about as far as we wanted to forage for food from the cave. It hasn't changed in thousands of years.

29 November 2010

this "competition" really is a complete farce!

not a single car on that list should have even got to the final stages (imho)

as for the leaf winning that's just plain ridiculous. the car is a joke, i have a friend that works at Nissan and even they think is a waste of time and money and is nothing but a publicity stunt!


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