The Vauxhall Insignia has won the 2009 European Car of the Year award. However with 321 votes it beat the Ford Fiesta by just one point.
Vauxhall unveiled the Insignia at this year’s British International Motor Show. There is a green option – the ecoFLEX model, with its 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine that produces 160PS, has emissions of under 140 g/km CO2. Its efficiency is helped by its class leading aerodynamics, which give it a drag coefficient of just 0.26.
The Insignia’s triumph marks the third COTY accolade for Vauxhall. In 1985, the Astra won the title, followed two years later by the Carlton/Omega.
Bill Parfitt, Chairman and Managing Director of General Motors UK, was encouraged by the win: “This is great news for GM/Vauxhall and its employees, suppliers and retailers. Vauxhall has made great strides in recent years, particularly in design and dynamics, and the Insignia illustrates what we’re capable of achieving. It offers great quality and value in a prestige package that will provide an exceptional ownership experience to our customers.”
This year, 37 cars were put forward for COTY, with just seven short-listed for the ultimate award, which represents the most outstanding car launched in the last 12 months. Each contender must be on sale in at least five European countries.
“This is the closest COTY competition for years,” comments Ray Hutton, president of the 59-strong jury of senior motoring journalists drawn from 23 European countries. “Car of the Year has often been decided narrowly, but it is eight years since another Ford, the Mondeo, was beaten by a single point by Alfa Romeo’s 147.” To underscore the closeness of the 46-year-old competition, the Vauxhall/Opel Insignia received most votes from 20 of the international jurors, while the Fiesta was placed first by 19 of them.