At the Japan Car of the Year awards ceremony inside Zepp Diver City on reclaimed land in Tokyo Bay, Mazda’s all-new CX-5 posted 363 votes to win Japan’s coveted Car of the Year prize.
Surprisingly, the expected close battle between this year’s two most highly anticipated cars – Mazda’s CX-5 and the Toyota GT86/Subaru BRZ – did not eventuate as the SUV from Hiroshima pulled away from the jointly developed GT86/BRZ sports car to triumph by some 45 votes.
While the Toyota-Subaru sports car picked up 318 votes for its thrilling rear-wheel drive handling, high revving boxer engine and reasonable price, it was the Mazda CX-5’s revolutionary Skyactiv technology, great handling and economical clean diesel engine that most impressed the 60 jurors.
In accepting the Japan COTY trophy, the so-called ‘Godfather’ of Skyactiv technology**, Kiyoshi Fujiwara, said: “It was a long road. In the early days of Skyactiv development, I had a lot of opposition from colleagues suggesting this technology was not the answer. But we stayed true to our goals, and here we are today, fully recognised by the COTY jurors. Thank you!”
The BMW 3-Series – with 282 votes – snatched the Import Car of the Year gong away from a strong finishing Range Rover Evoque polling 218 votes, while the sentimental COTY steering committee special prize was awarded to the Toyota GT86/Subaru BRZ.
Mazda CX-5 - 363 votes
Toyota GT86/Subaru BRZ - 318
BMW 3-Series - 282
Range Rover Evoque - 218
VW Up! - 152
Suzuki Wagon R - 68
Citroen DS5 - 51
Alfa Romeo Giulietta - 29
Nissan Note - 10
Honda N-Box - 9