Edges out Toyota GT 86/Subaru BRZ by 45 votes

At the Japan Car of the Year awards ceremony inside Zepp Diver City on reclaimed land in Tokyo Bay, Mazda’s all-new CX-5 posted 363 votes to win Japan’s coveted Car of the Year prize.

car of the year 2013

Surprisingly, the expected close battle between this year’s two most highly anticipated cars – Mazda’s CX-5 and the Toyota GT 86/Subaru BRZ – did not eventuate as the SUV from Hiroshima pulled away from the jointly developed GT 86/BRZ sports car to triumph by some 45 votes.

While the Toyota-Subaru sports car picked up 318 votes for its thrilling rear-wheel drive handling, high revving boxer engine and reasonable price, it was the Mazda CX-5’s revolutionary Skyactiv technology, great handling and economical clean diesel engine that most impressed the 60 jurors.

Japan car of the Year 2013

In accepting the Japan COTY trophy, the so-called ‘Godfather’ of Skyactiv technology**, Kiyoshi Fujiwara, said: “It was a long road. In the early days of Skyactiv development, I had a lot of opposition from colleagues suggesting this technology was not the answer. But we stayed true to our goals, and here we are today, fully recognised by the COTY jurors. Thank you!”

The BMW 3-Series – with 282 votes – snatched the Import Car of the Year gong away from a strong finishing Range Rover Evoque polling 218 votes, while the sentimental COTY steering committee special prize was awarded to the Toyota GT 86/Subaru BRZ.

car of the year


Mazda CX-5 363 votes
Toyota GT 86/Subaru BRZ 318
BMW 3-Series 282
Range Rover Evoque 218
VW Up! 152
Suzuki Wagon R 68
Citroen DS5 51
Alfa Romeo Giulietta 29
Nissan Note 10
Honda N-Box 9

Voting rules: Each juror is given 25 votes. The juror must give 10 votes to their highest rated car, and then spread the remaining 15 votes among their next best four cars.

BMW car of the year 2013

** Skyactiv technology refers to a series of new body, chassis, engine and transmission technologies which increase fuel efficiency, reduce weight and emissions while improving the car’s handling and ride quality. Skyactiv does not employ hybrid technology.