Volkswagen Golf: 2010 Car of the Year Winner


The model range boasts exceptional performance, safety features and advancements - and delivers a package the judges considered worthy of 'two classes above' its very accessible price tags (c. $25,990 - $42,990).

The VW Golf triumphed after a rigorous evaluation and road testing process that saw the largest ever COTY field of 57 cars, derived from 22 models representing 16 manufacturers.

"The turbo-charged, five-door hatch VW Golf range is outstanding," notes Wheels editor, Ged Bulmer. "The Golf oozes sophistication, refinement and development - in an energetic package that comes with fundamentally good steering and balance."


Australia's original new car award was established in 1963 and recognises only the very best vehicle, meticulously identified from a diverse field of hopefuls. In some years the award has even been withheld so as to maintain its own high standards.

The judging panel tests a range of variants of the nominated model, and the cars are ultimately measured against an established and telling criteria. This criteria examines function, technology, efficiency/environment, safety, and value.

Of the eligible models launched during the past year, 22 shortlisted finalists took part in the rigorous week-long testing stage. (Some big names missed that shortlist, including the BMW Z4, Honda Civic SI, Peugeot 308CC, and the Suzuki Alto.)

No Australian-built cars were eligible this year, and close to half the finalists (10 out of 22) were made in Japan.

A record 57 variants of the 22 shortlisted models (manual, auto versions, petrol/diesel, etc) were put through their paces at Holden's Lang Lang Proving Ground, and finalists were also given a real world workout on the roads of Victoria.

The field was initially trimmed to 8 models, and then honed down to a final four: The VW Golf, Toyota Prius, Skoda Superb, and the Mercedes Benz E Class sedan.

The VW Golf impressed in all areas, including safety, with no less than 7 airbags as standard, including driver knee protection.

When measured against the long-established criteria for WHEELS Car Of The Year, the VW Golf proved itself a clear overall winner against some very noteworthy rivals.

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