- Volkswagen’sversatile hatchback family takes top honors among 23 new vehicle offerings
“VW floored our judges by reimagining the seventh generation Golf for nearly every need and want,” said Motor Trend Editor-in-Chief Ed Loh. “From the value-laden Golf 1.8T and high-MPG Golf TDI to the legendary hot hatch GTI and all-electric e-Golf, there truly is a Golf for everyone.”
The 2015 Motor Trend Car of the Year award was presented to Michael Horn, President and CEO, Volkswagen of America, during an announcement Thursday morning.
“Volkswagen is extremely proud to receive this prestigious award,” said Horn. “This recognition from Motor Trend is a testament to the versatility of the Golf family and the quality and value these cars offer in the compact hatchback segment.”
Motor Trend’s Car of the Year program is open to any all-new or substantially upgraded 2015 automobile. Rather than being compared against one another, contending vehicles are first put through Motor Trend’s full battery of performance tests to measure acceleration, braking, and limit handling.
All contenders are then evaluated on three separate courses at a professional automotive test center before finalists are selected. Out of 23 contending 2015 models, Motor Trend’s judges picked 10 Car of the Year finalists, including the Volkswagen Golf. The other finalists were:
- Audi A3
- BMW 2 Series
- Ford Mustang
- Honda Fit
- Hyundai Genesis
- Kia Sedona
- Lexus RC
- Maserati Ghibli
- Mercedes-Benz C-Class
Each finalist is then driven on a real-world road loop that provides a range of surfaces and traffic conditions to evaluate ride and handling, engine and transmission smoothness and responsiveness, wind and road noise, and ergonomics. In the final phase of Car of the Year, Motor Trend judges debate and evaluate each vehicle against the award’s six key criteria:
Design Advancement—well-executed exterior and interior styling; innovative vehicle packaging; good selection and use of materials.
Engineering Excellence—total vehicle concept and execution; clever solutions to packaging, manufacturing and dynamics issues; cost-effective tech that benefits the consumer.
Efficiency—low fuel consumption and carbon footprint, relative to the vehicle's competitive set.
Safety—a vehicle's ability to help the driver avoid a crash, as well as the secondary safety measures that protect its occupants from harm during a crash.
Value—competitive price and equipment levels, measured against those of vehicles in the same market segment.
Performance of Intended Function—how well the vehicle does the job its planners, designers, and engineers intended it to do.
After 9 full days of testing, driving and deliberating, Motor Trend selected the Volkswagen Golf as represented by four powertrain derivatives as its 2015 Car of the Year. The seventh-generation version of Volkswagen’s best-selling model is bigger, lighter, more fuel-efficient, and even more versatile than the previous Golf model.
Based on the new Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) architecture, the German-engineered 2015 Golf family is currently available in four different versions: fun-to-drive Golf 1.8T, frugal Golf TDI Clean Diesel , sporty Golf GTI and the all-electric, zero-tailpipe emissions e-Golf. With a host of newly available driver assistance features and excellent EPA estimated highway fuel economy, the all-new Golf is a standout in the compact class. Reinforcing this, the lineup will be rounded out in early 2015 with the all-new 292-horsepower, all-wheel-drive Golf R and the Golf SportWagen range.
With a starting price of $17,995 (plus $820 destination and handling) for the 2-door Golf S model, the 2015 Golf family offers advances in interior refinement, exterior styling, and a wealth of new equipment at even the lowest trim lines; the result is truly a Golf for everyone.
For more information about the award, judging process, and the contenders, check out the January 2015 issue of Motor Trend, visit www.motortrend.com and search the hashtags #MTCOTY, #VW and #Ready.Set.Golf on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.