THE new Vauxhall Astra has been named European Car of the Year 2016 at the Geneva Motor Show.
Built in the UK at Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port plant in Cheshire, the Astra received a total of 309 points compared to 294 for the Volvo XC90 and 202 for the Mazda MX-5.
This year has already been hugely successful for the Astra, with this award the latest in a list that also includes a Family Car category win at the What Car? Awards and being named Scottish Car of the Year.
More than 40 new cars were among the list of contenders and the Astra emerged as the winner from a field of seven Car of the Year finalists.
It is available with the new-generation IntelliLink infotainment system and OnStar, a comprehensive package, which includes a high-speed 4G LTE mobile network, emergency response notification and stolen vehicle recovery technology.
OnStar has received plaudits of its own recently, winning the Auto Express Technology and the BusinessCar Techies awards.
The award was decided by 58 leading automotive journalists from around Europe and presented to Vauxhall/Opel chief Dr Karl-Thomas Neumann by Car of the Year president Hakan Matson.
Vauxhall chairman Rory Harvey said: “We’re delighted the Astra has been recognised for yet another award.
“To be named European Car of the Year by judges throughout Europe is a testament to the hard work that has gone into the Astra. This is the new model’s first full year of sales, and it has already been well-received.”
This year is the 52nd European Car of the Year awards and the Astra’s win marks the fifth Car of the Year title for Opel/Vauxhall. The previous winners were the Astra Mk2, Omega A, Insignia and Ampera.