Mazda’s upcoming redesigned Mazda2 has won the Car of the Year Japan trophy.
In a nail-biting finish between the Mazda2 and the Mercedes Benz C-Class, the Hiroshima compact car polled 423 votes to come from behind and win the Car of the Year Japan by 19 votes.
The C-Class finished with 404 votes.
This result means that Mazda’s Skyactiv technology and styling combination has picked up Japan’s top award twice in three years, after the CX-5 won the COTY trophy in 2012.
In a tightly fought contest, the Demio (Japanese name for the Mazda2) polled the maximum 10 votes from 22 of the 59 jurors while the C-Class picked up ten votes from 18 jurors. Each juror is allocated 25 votes, must give 10 votes to their best car and spread their remaining 15 votes among their next best 4 cars.
The BMW i3 came third with 340 votes, Subaru’s Levorg finished fourth with 124 votes and the Suzuki Hustler ended up in fifth with 65 votes.
“With the Mazda2, we have rewritten the rule book for compact cars. Our new Skyactiv technology, excellent mileage, reasonable pricing and unique design all contributed to our victory today,” said Mazda’s EVP, Kiyoshi Fujiwara.
In three other award categories that were introduced last year year, the BMW i3 picked up the ‘Innovation Award,’ the Honda N-WGN captured the ‘Small Mobility Award’ and the ‘Special Achievement Award’ went to Toyota for its Fuel Cell program.
Mazda’s next-generation supermini will make its European debut early November.