The Volkswagen Polo has been named the 2010 World Car of the Year at the New York International Auto Show. VW's car beat out two other finalists, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Toyota Prius, to win the award.
Thirty vehicles had originally been nominated for the prize, a list that was whittled down until the three finalists were announced last month.
To be considered for the award, a vehicle had to be in production and sold on at least two different continents in 2009. At least 500 units of each nominated vehicle had to be produced in 2009 to qualify.
"Holding its own in the most competitive market segment, the all-new Polo MkV is one of VW's star performers," a representitive of the jury said in a press release. "Draped in head-turning stylish curves, the Polo is certainly one of the classiest small VWs ever built. It's also safe; generating a maximum five-star Euro NCAP crash-test rating.
Behind the wheel, the Polo demonstrates mature manners and boasts a superb driving position that's adjustable and, in common with the latest Golf, all the controls are well weighted and precise."
"The Polo is just one brilliant supermini."
The award is voted on by a jury of 59 automotive experts from around the world, though only one juror was from Africa or South America. Collectively, they narrowed the field from 30 to ten in January, before choosing the finalists a month later.
Previous award winners include the VW Golf, Mazda2/Demio, Lexus LS460, BMW 3-Series, and Audi A6.
Separately, the jury awarded the Chevrolet Camaro with the World Car Design of the Year prize, and the entire Volkswagen BlueMotion lineup as World Green Car of the Year.
The jury did not disclose why they picked the BlueMotion Golf, Passat, and Polo collectively, instead of choosing a single vehicle.