Yaris ‘Car of the Year’


The Toyota Yaris has been crowned Europe’s Car of the Year. The European built Toyota supermini is Europe’s best selling car at the minute. The Toyota beat off competition from the Volkswagen ID.3, Land Rover Defender, Fiat 500e, Skoda Octavia and Citroen C4.

Ireland’s judge Michael McAleer (Irish Times) voted for the ID.3 (4th) while Russia and the UK voted for the Land Rover Defender (6th) as their favourite. Italy voted for… the FIAT 500 (2nd) of course – the COTY is kind of like the Eurovision song contest.

Here is the official press release: The Toyota Yaris is “The Car of the Year 2021”. The award ceremony took place in Geneva on Monday 1 March 2021, and was broadcast live on the Geneva International Motor Show website, whose team organised the ceremony for the tenth year in a row.

A 59-member jury, composed of automotive journalists from 22 countries, selected the winner from seven models that had made it to the round of finalists in the first round of voting. With the trophy for “The Car of the Year 2021”, the Toyota Yaris wins the most prestigious and coveted award in the automotive world, which has been presented since 1964. “A worthy winner of this year’s election, who deservedly prevailed against six top-class competitors,” said “The Car of the Year” President Frank Janssen after announcing the results.

Matt Harrison, Executive Vice President, Toyota Motor Europe: “This is a great honour for Toyota and I’d like to thank the jury for their consideration and recognition. I’d also like to take this opportunity to recognise the passion of our development teams in Europe and Japan. This is the best ever Yaris, and just as Akio Toyoda intended, it is already putting a smile on the face of our customers.”

This year, the election took place under special conditions. Instead of the usual opening event on the press days of the Geneva International Motor Show (GIMS), the ceremony was broadcast as a pure livestream on the internet, as it was in 2020. The organisers of “The Car of the Year” once again drew on the know-how and experience of the GIMS team.

The voting results of the seven finalists of “The Car of the Year 2021”:

Toyota Yaris:                               266 points

Fiat New 500:                              240 points

Cupra Formentor:                        239 points

Volkswagen ID.3.:                       224 points

Škoda Octavia:                           199 points

Land Rover Defender:                164 points

Citroën C4:                                  143 points

“The Car of the Year 2021” award ceremony was supported by the Touring Club Switzerland TCS, which celebrates its 125thanniversary this year.

Steve Tormey, Chief Executive of Toyota Ireland commented on the announcement: “This international accolade reaffirms the Yaris’ strength and positioning in the market and showcases the impressive journey that our newest generation Yaris hybrid has been on over the last 12 months. The 4th generation Yaris was transformed in 2020 to a dynamic, stylish hot hatch and it highlights the best of design, innovation, and sustainability, making it a true leader in the field. It is with great honour for the Toyota Ireland team that the Toyota Yaris has been named the 2021 European Car of the Year… Not only seen as a leader in innovation, the Toyota Yaris is highly commended for its unrivalled combination of performance, practicality, and affordability, as well as perfectly suited for those with sustainability in mind. It’s fantastic to see the self-charging hybrid given the accolade in 2021, and we firmly believe that hybrid answers the need of customers for an affordable electrified option. Given the Yaris’ sustainability credentials as well as being a leading demonstration in innovation, we are proud that this vehicle embodies our brand ethos of building a better world for future generations. We look forward to its continued success and future within the market.”

Toyota has been awarded European Car of the Year three times. Yaris won in 2000, Prius took top honours in 2005 and now Yaris has lifted the trophy again in 2021. The Yaris is now available in Toyota dealerships with prices starting from €19,110 for the Yaris Petrol Aura and €23,485 for the Yaris Hybrid Luna.


About Author

Michael Sheridan

Michael is Motorhub's Editor. Well known from TV and radio, Michael has been writing, presenting and judging cars since the mid 90's. He is a renowned Producer/Director and documentary film maker. Dozens of credits include: The Whole Way Round (Gay Byrne), The Shamrock Run (Alan Shortt), The Viking Run (Clodagh McKenna) and The Irish 66ers (David Mitchell) and The Climb for Kids (Colin Farrell). Print credits include: the RTE Guide (motoring editor 1999-2003), many national daily papers and Sundays including The Irish Times (freelance) plus other magazines. National radio credits include multiple at RTE Gerry Ryan show, the Mooney Show, The Dave Fanning Show, Drivetime etc. TV credits as a motoring expert include RTE's flagship current affairs show Primetime and TV3's Ireland AM. Michael also presented RTE's car show Drive! in the late 90s and directed some items in MPH2 on TG4. Michael contributes weekly on motoring issues to The Last Word show with Matt Cooper on Today FM. Michael has represented Ireland's motoring journalists in Motorsport at the International Mazda MX-5 endurance race series in Italy and the Arctic Ice Race. He has been a Car of the Year Judge for 20 years, more recently a judge for Van of the Year. Michael is a former Chairperson of the Association of Professional Motoring Press (APMP).

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