The all-new Subaru Impreza was voted the 2017 Car of the Year Japan by a jury of 59 automotive journalists from that country (including Autofile contributor Peter Lyon). The winner was announced and the award presented at a ceremony held inside the Tokyo International Exchange Center on Tokyo Bay.
The Impreza earned 420 votes to clearly beat the Toyota Prius by 49 votes, while the Audi A4 polled 149 to edge out the Volvo XC90 for third place and the Import Car of the Year trophy.
This COTY win is only the second ever for Subaru and its first in 13 years.
In accepting the award, Impreza chief engineer Kazuhiro Abe said, “When we started developing the Impreza over 4 years ago, never did I imagine I’d be standing here today with such a prestigious award. This must be what it feels like to win an Olympic gold. The Impreza’s new global platform has great meaning for the company moving forward and will underpin nearly all of our cars over the next decade. On behalf of all of my R&D team, I’d like to thank the jurors for their support of this car.”
Japan’s COTY organization is made up of 59 jurors who each start with 25 votes and must give their most highly rated vehicle 10 votes. Their remaining 15 votes are then spread across their next best 4 cars. Each juror must vote for five cars out of the final Top 10.
The Nissan Serena captured the Innovation Award for its Propilot driver-assist, hands-free sliding door technology and clever seat arrangement, while the Daihatsu Move Canbus won the Small Mobility award for its packaging.
Earning high marks for its performance and handling, the BMW M2 won the Emotional Award, while the Honda NSX picked up the Car of the Year Japan steering committee’s Special Award for its revolutionary V-6 twin-turbo hybrid powertrain.
The Mazda MX-5 won the Car of the Year Japan award for 2016 and the Mazda2 was the winner for 2015.