The Volkswagen Passat has been named 'Car of the Year 2015' by an international panel of experts on the eve of the Geneva International Motor Show.
The prestigious European award has been awarded every year since 1964. The Passat emerged from a shortlist of seven models that were tested, compared and evaluated by a group of 58 motoring writers from 22 nations.
Among the qualities they were looking for were comfort, design, driveability, economy, functionality and technical progress.
The Passat joins VW's Golf (2013) and Polo (2010) as 'Car of the Year' winners with a total of 340 points and CEO Professor Martin Winterkorn spoke of the manufacturer's pride at taking the honour for the third time in five years.
VW made 1.1 million Passats last year and Mr Winterkorn says the model is leading the way in terms of quality and technology.
The innovative eighth generation Passat provides the answers to many modern motoring challenges, he says.
VW fans can expect to see the plug-in hybrid Passat GTE in the company's UK dealerships towards the end of the summer.
Copyright Press Association 2015