During an award ceremony held inside the Tokyo International Exchange Center on Tokyo Bay, the Subaru Impreza was named the 2017 Car of the Year Japan (COTY). The Toyota Prius and the Audi A4 came in second and third respectively, with the A4 being named the Import Car of the Year ahead of the Volvo XC90. This win gives Subaru only its second COTY trophy, and its first in 13 years, according to the COTY organization.
Japan’s COTY organization is made up of 59 jurors who each start with 25 votes and must give their most highly rated vehicle 10 votes. Their remaining 15 votes are then spread across their next best 4 cars. Each juror must vote for 5 cars out of the final Top 10.
After 20 jurors’ votes had been read out, the difference between the Impreza and Prius was only 9 votes, 138 to 129 votes respectively. So a close finished was expected, according to the Japan COTY organization. However, when the 40th juror’s votes were revealed, the Impreza’s lead had jumped to 27 votes. In the end, the Subaru received 420 votes to the Prius’ 371.
The Nissan Serena captured the Innovation Award for its Propilot driver-assist, hands-free sliding door technology and seat arrangement, while the Daihatsu Move Canbus won the Small Mobility award for its packaging. Given high marks for its performance and handling, the BMW M2 triumphed in the Emotional Award, while the Honda NSX picked up the Car of the Year Japan steering committee’s Special Award for its revolutionary V-6 twin-turbo hybrid powertrain, according to the Japan COTY organization.