Volkswagen’s new-generation Golf models are the Motor Trend Car of the Year winner, the automaker and the publication announced.
It’s another in an unusually strong award showing by the latest Golf models. They are VW’s best-sellers worldwide, but have been only mid-pack among VWs sold in the U.S.
The brand is hoping the new design, new drivetrain, and now the growing list of awards, will boost the Golf’s appeal and sales here.
The Motor Trend award is to the Golf ‘family’ of cars, which includes the GTI high-performance model on sale since spring, and the rest of the line that went on sale after that. The other models include a diesel, a gasoline-power car and an electric e-Golf. VW next year adds the 292-horsepower, all-wheel-drive Golf R and the Golf SportWagen, previously sold as the Jetta SportWagen.
Motor Trend’s COTY award is among the best-known and becomes a useful and — the industry believes — powerful marketing tool. Such so-callled “third party” awards are assumed to be more persuasive than car companies’ own advertising.
The GTI version of Golf won the Cars.com/USA TODAY/MotorWeek Cheap Speed Challenge in July. Among the most respected third-party awards are the North American Car and Truck of the Year trophies. Those are given by a panel of several dozen auto writers and editors, rather than being affiliated with a single publication.
The NACTOY organization is self-supporting through dues paid by the jurors. The North American Car and Truck hardware is handed out at the Detroit auto show each January.
The Golf is on the organization’s list of candidates.
Photo Credit: Volkswagen