After three straight wins from Japan's own automotive brands (Mazda2, Mazda MX-5, Subaru Impreza) , the Land of The Rising Sun's Car Of The Year (COTY) for 2017 hails from Sweden. Yes you read that right, a Volvo has just won Japan's Car Of The Year for 2017, specifially the all-new XC60.
It was a close fight between the Volvo XC60, BMW 5-Series and the all-new Toyota Camry. During the voting ceremony, all three cars exchanged the top spot but ultimately Volvo pulled away in the closing moments with 294 votes. The BMW 5-Series came in at second with 242 votes while the Toyota Camry finished third with 232 votes.
Accepting the trophy in front of sixty Japan COTY jurors and over 200 industry colleagues was Volvo Japan CEO Takayuki Kimura.
“This is the first time in Japan COTY’s 38-year history that Volvo has won an award. To be honest, I would have been happy with the Import Car of the Year. But to come away with the overall Japan Car of the Year is totally unexpected and sincerely humbling. I dedicate this award to the 100 dealers and 1400 staff across the nation,” said Kimura.
Aside from Volvo winning the top prize, Toyota and Lexus also won special awards during the ceremony.
In commemorating the Prius' 20th anniversary, Toyota was awarded the 'Special Achievement Award' for the brand's 10-millionth hybrid sale. Receiving the award was Takeshi Uchiyamada, a Toyota executive chairman and first-gen Prius chief engineer. Meanwhile, the stylish Lexus LC won the Emotion Award thanks to its eye-catching design.
First making its world debut at this year's Geneva International Motor Show, the 2018 Volvo XC60 serves as the brand's midsize premium crossover and comes with similar styling cues from its bigger brother, the XC90. It comes with a tablet-inspired touchscreen infotainment system and is available with a plethora of Drive-E four-cylinder engines.