Vauxhall/Opel Insignia wins 2009 Car of the Year

Vauxhall's new Insignia family car has been voted 2009 European Car of the Year by a one-point margin from Ford's Fiesta. The Vauxhall/Opel scored 321 points against the Fiesta's 320, both far in front of the third-placed car, Volkswagen's Golf which scored 223 points.

The Insignia, which is available as a hatchback, a saloon and an estate, received its international debut at London’s Motor Show this July flying high on a crane jib near Tower Bridge. It was an auspicious portent.

"Car of the Year has often been decided narrowly," commented Ray Hutton, president of the 59-strong jury of senior motoring journalists drawn from 23 European countries. "Just two years ago the Vauxhall/Opel Corsa lost to the Ford S-Max by two points. This time the positions were reversed, with just one point separating Insignia and Fiesta. And underscoring the closeness of the competition, the Insignia received most votes from 20 members of the Jury while the Fiesta was placed first by 19."

Points allotted to the other Coty finalists were VW Golf 223, Citroën C5 198, Alfa Romeo MiTo 148, Skoda Superb 144 and Renault Mègane 121. The competition’s first stage was in October, when jurors chose seven finalists from a field of 37 contenders. To be eligible for Coty, a car must be launched within the past 12 months and must be available in at least five European countries.