European Cars of the decade

What a decade it has been for the fleet industry as a whole.

This truly has been a transformational and disruptive decade with many twists and turns along the away. We won’t dwell on some of the issues we have all seen, but rather take a look at the winners of the European Car of The Year awards. Agree or disagree, but we have come a long way in design and technology and one thing is for sure, the next decade will sure to be another exciting one.

The revered title of ‘Car of the Year’ has been given out in Europe since 1964. At the beginning there 26 journalists from nine countries who picked the winner, and now the panel has grown to 60 people representing 23 countries.

The 2010 - 2019 winners were:

 2010 – Volkswagen Polo

The Volkswagen Polo Mk5 is the fifth generation of the Volkswagen Polo supermini-class car, launched by Volkswagen in March 2009.

The Mark 5 Polo, internally designated Typ 6R, is based on Volkswagen’s PQ25 platform, shared with the 2008 SEAT Ibiza and the Audi A1. Its styling, by a team led by Walter de Silva, follows the direction of the previous 2008 Volkswagen Scirocco and Golf VI. Slightly larger than the previous generation Polo, the Mark 5 is however, 7.5% lighter. The car was unveiled in the 2009 Geneva Motor Show.

2011 – Nissan Leaf

The Nissan Leaf, is a compact five-door hatchback battery electric vehicle, introduced in Japan and the United States in December 2010, and now in its second generation. Among other awards and recognition, the Leaf has won the 2010 Green Car Vision Award, the 2011 European Car of the Year, the 2011 World Car of the Year, and the 2011–2012 Car of the Year Japan.

2012 – Opel Ampera

The Ampera was a plug-in hybrid car manufactured by General Motors, also marketed in rebadged variants as the Chevrolet Volt in USA, Holden Volt in Australia and New Zealand, Buick Velite 5 in China, and with a different fascia as the Vauxhall Ampera in the United Kingdom and as the Opel Ampera in the remainder of Europe. Production ended in February 2019.

2013 – Volkswagen Golf

The Volkswagen Golf Mk7 is a compact car, the seventh generation of the Volkswagen Golf and the successor to the Volkswagen Golf Mk6. It was introduced in Berlin on 4 September 2012, before a public launch at the 2012 Paris Motor Show. Cars reached Volkswagen dealers in the Golf’s European domestic market on 10 November 2012. The Golf Mk7 uses the same MQB platform as the third-generation Audi A3, SEAT León and Škoda Octavia. At its introduction in 2013, it won the Car of the Year Japan Award, the first time it was awarded to a European product. On 10 November 2016, VW presented a facelift of the Golf Mk7. In December 2019, it was superseded by the Volkswagen Golf Mk8.

2014 – Peugeot 308

The Peugeot 308 is a small family car produced by Peugeot. It was unveiled on 5 June 2007, and launched in September 2007. Its development code was “Project T7”, and is the first car of the X08 generation of Peugeot models. The 308 features a range of petrol and diesel engine options. In March 2011, the 308 received a facelift, and it premiered at the Geneva Motor Show.

2015 – Volkswagen Passat

The Volkswagen Passat (B8) is a mid-size car manufactured by Volkswagen that is available in a 4-door saloon and a 5-door estate body style sold as “Variant” in some markets. It was first introduced at the Volkswagen Design Center Potsdam on 3 July 2014. The B8 is the eighth-generation model in the Volkswagen Passat series and the first passenger vehicle of Volkswagen Group to be based on a stretched version of the MQB platform.

2016 – Opel Astra

The Opel Astra is a compact car/small family car engineered and manufactured by the German automaker Opel since 1991. It is branded as the Vauxhall Astra in the United Kingdom and the Buick Excelle XT in China. The Holden Astra was discontinued in Australia and New Zealand in 2009, because exchange rates made importing Opel cars uncompetitive, and was replaced by the Holden Cruze. It briefly returned to the Australian market in 2012, for the first time badged as an Opel, but was discontinued after Opel withdrew from the country a year later. On 1 May 2014, Opel announced that the Astra GTC and Astra VXR (Astra OPC) would return to Australia and New Zealand in 2015, again bearing the Holden badge.

2017 – Peugeot 3008

The Peugeot 3008 is a compact crossover SUV unveiled by French automaker Peugeot in May 2008, and presented for the first time to the public in Dubrovnik, Croatia. It was launched in April 2009. Despite having had its styling criticised, the 3008 has been praised by automobile magazines. In 2016, Peugeot unveiled the new 3008, with the car being available as of January 2017. The car is was a new milestone for Peugeot, in its quest to become the highest selling range of vehicles in the industry. In November 2016, the new 3008 was awarded overall CarBuyer “Car of the Year” 2017, as well as winning best in the category of SUVs.

2018 – Volvo XC40

The Volvo XC40 is a compact luxury crossover SUV[3] manufactured by Volvo Cars. It was revealed on 21 September 2017. Orders started in September of 2017, and manufacturing began in November 2017.

The XC40 is the first Volvo to utilise the new CMA platform, to be shared by future compact Volvos, Geely, and models of Lynk & Co, and is celebrated for its take on the luxury compact SUV. The optimisation of space within the interior of the car is regarded as a pivotal feature of the XC40 due to its increase in boot space.

2019 – Jaguar I-Pace

The Jaguar I-Pace (stylised as “I-PACE”) is a battery-electric crossover SUV produced by British automotive company Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) under their Jaguar marque. The I-Pace was announced in March 2018, and deliveries started in the second half of 2018. It is the first electric SUV from a premium European automaker, and in its first year the I-Pace became one of the most highly decorated production cars ever, winning 62 international awards. The 2019 European Car of the Year award, was the first Jaguar to win in the 50-year history of the award. In April 2019, the I-Pace became the 2019 World Car of the Year, also winning Best Design and Best Green Car awards, the first car to ever sweep three categories.

And what is your prediction for 'Car of the Year 2020' ?

The nominees are:

  • BMW 1-Series
  • Ford Puma
  • Peugeot 208
  • Porsche Taycan
  • Renault Clio
  • Tesla Model 3
  • Toyota Corolla

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