2016 Mazda MX-5 Clutches Car of the Year Japan from Honda S660 Kei Sportscar

MX-5 wins COTY in Japan 1 photo
Photo: Car of the Year Japan
Mazda's brand new MX-5 sportscar has been declared Car of the Year in Japan by a group of the country's 60 most respected journalists. In what has been described as the closest race ever, the little roadster managed to win against the even smaller Honda S660 sportscar.
Right off the bat, we want to mention that a car doesn't have to come from a Japanese brand to be eligible. For example, the VW Golf won the trophy back in 2013. Nevertheless, ever since the Tokyo Bay award was introduced, Mazda has been stealing everything. The CX-5 came out on top in 2012, while the Mazda2 supermini was declared victorious in 2014.

Several cars were judged on everything from comfort to design and innovation. The MX-5 achieved 442 points, edging out the Honda S660 by 41 points. The BMW 2 Series, which finished in third place, totaled 177 votes to pick up the Import Car of the Year title.

“We went through some tough times during the financial crisis and 2011 earthquake, but we stuck to our founding principles and created a winning formula. We think the jurors’ response to our MX-5 shows that sports cars are making a strong comeback in Japan. This award means a lot to our development team,” declared Mazda's head of Skyactiv technology R&D, Kiyoshi Fujiwara, upon personally receiving the award.

Other awards included the Innovation Award for the Tesla Models S P85D, Best Small Mobility Award for the Suzuki Alto, and an honorary award for the Toyota Mira, which did not meet the criteria for being a mass production car.

A total of 45 cars were nominated for the award, and the list boiled down to just 10. These included the Suzuki Alto (Alto Turbo RS), Subaru Legacy B4, Toyota Sienta, Nissan X-trail Hybrid, Honda S660, BMW 2 Series Active Tourer, Jaguar XE, Fiat 500X, and Tesla Model S P85D.
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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