The winner is... the Vauxhall Astra!

  • Medium hatch from British firm takes Europe's coveted title
  • Fended off rivals from Volvo, Mazda, Audi, Jaguar, Skoda and BMW
  • Two judges from sister title CAR Magazine among the panel

The Vauxhall Astra has been named European Car of the Year 2016 at the Geneva Motor Show.

Judged by a panel of 58 leading motoring journalists from around the continent, the all-new hatchback – a rival to the Ford Focus and VW Golf – took top spot against formidable competition. It scored 309 points overall, pipping the excellent Volvo XC90 with 294 points and the Mazda MX-5, which came third with 202 points.

It’s the fifth gong for the British firm at these awards, with the second-generation Astra, first Omega, Insignia and Ampera all winning over the 52-year period the event has been held.

“We’re delighted the Astra has been recognised for yet another award,” said Rory Harvey, Vauxhall’s Chairman and Managing Director. “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.”

Jury members included Phil McNamara and Georg Kacher from sister title Car Magazine, who had the chance to vote for their favourite cars before carrying out a full road test of all seven shortlisted models, also driving the Audi A4, Jaguar XE, Skoda Superb and BMW 7 Series. The cars finished in that order from fourth to seventh.

Each judge awarded 25 points in total, and the rules state that no car can score more than 10 points, with the top spot occupied by a vehicle scoring at least one point more than the next protagonist.

McNamara awarded the Skoda Superb a generous six points, giving the Astra five and the MX-5 four. Colleague Kacher voted for the Astra as his number one, scoring the other models four points each.

For our full Vauxhall Astra review, click here.

For details on the 2016 Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer, click here.