As we reach towards the end of the year, it’s time to recognise the best car of 2016 at the annual car of the year (COTY) awards. The top 10 candidates this year for Japan’s COTY are comprised of an unusual mix of European cars, which altogether outnumber their domestic cars.
A total of 35 new cars, ranging from new domestic and foreign cars were nominated, but only 10 made it to the finals. They are Audi A4, BMW M2, Honda Freed, Nissan Serena, Volvo XC90, Abarth 124 Spider, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Jaguar F-Pace, Toyota Prius and Subaru Impreza. Out of the 10, only four represent the Land of the Rising Sun.
A panel of 59 judges (a majority presumably Japanese) however, lean heavily towards the Subaru Impreza and Toyota Prius. Yet again, competition from the West will be tough; the Volvo XC90 gathered critical acclaims from journalists all around the world and the BMW M2 makes for a delightful choice for purists.
Japan’s new Car of the Year will be announced on 9 December, but prior to that the judges’ evaluation are to be made public on 22 November. Last year, the Mazda MX-5 was given the crown jewel, and the year before that was the Mazda2. Unfortunately, no Mazda cars made it into the final 10 this year. Don’t be surprised if this year’s winner is not a native, because in 2013, the Volkswagen Golf became the first ever non-Japanese car to win the Japan COTY.