It’s COTY (Car of the Year) time again in Japan and as a run-up to the announcement of the 2017-2018 winner in early December, the Japan Car of the Year (JCOTY) committee has announced the 10 Best Cars of the Year. These 10 models are the finalists from a list of 31 nominees:
Alfa Romeo Giulia | BMW 5-Series Sedan/Touring | Citroen C3
Honda N-BOX | Lexus LC | Mazda CX-5 | Suzuki Swift
Toyota Camry | Volkswagen Tiguan | Volvo XC60
For this year’s JCOTY, the panel of judges consisted of 60 members, mainly motoring journalists working in Japan, along with some experts in the field. Between November 30 and December 2, the judges will gather at a test course to assess the 10 models again and allocate points. Besides the overall winner of the title, there will also be other awards.
It may seem unusual that there are non-Japanese brands listed but for many years now, the separation of foreign makes was stopped (there used to be a category for the Import Car of the Year) and all models officially sold in Japan are considered together. The Volkswagen Golf Mark 7 (shown below) was the first non-Japanese car to win the overall title (2013 – 2014) in the 33-year history of the JCOTY. It impressed the judges so much that its total score was of 504 points was 131 points ahead of the runner-up which was the Honda Fit/Jazz.
Last year, the 10 Best Cars were the Audi A4, BMW M2, Fiat 124 Spider, Honda Freed, Jaguar F-PACE, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Nissan Serena, Subaru Impreza G4, Toyota Prius and Volvo XC90. The overall winner was the Subaru Impreza while, among the foreign finalists, the Audi A4 scored the most points.