The revolutionary Toyota iQ, the world’s smallest four-seater passenger car, has won the 2008 Japan Car of the Year award by a landslide over rivals such as the Citroën C5, Audi A4 and Jaguar XF. The innovative iQ scored more than double the points of the second placed, receiving top marks from 39 of the 65 jurors who voted.

The judges praised the iQ for its space efficiency and design, particularly the iQ’s capacity for seating four people within a body less than three metres long, as well as its combination of high levels of safety and low CO2 emissions.

But this incredible result will not be repeated in the 2008 European Car of the Year.

The reason is that sales in Europe do not start until January 2009, past the cut-off for the European COTY for this year.

Both Japanese and European COTY competitions are run in similar ways with a wide selection of new cars appraised and voted on by motoring journalists. In Japan COTY each of the 65 jurors has 25 points, of which 10 have to be given to one car, and the remaining 15 points allocated to four other cars.

Results of Japan Car of the Year 2008

  1. Toyota iQ – 526 points
  2. Citroën C5 – 223 points
  3. Nissan GT-R – 201 points
  4. Audi A4/A4 Avant – 180 points
  5. Jaguar XF – 115 points
  6. Daihatsu Tanto – 100 points
  7. Fiat 500 – 90 points
  8. Honda Freed – 62 points
  9. Mazda Atenza – 60 points
  10. Suzuki Wagon R/Wagon R Stingray – 37 points
  11. Subaru Exiga – 31 points

The new Toyota iQ goes on sale in the UK from January 2009 with prices starting from £9,495.

Notes to Editors:

For 2008-2009 Japan Car of the Year, the 29th running of the competition, 41 vehicles were nominated from the list of new models with the start of sales in Japan between 1 November 2007 and 31 October 2008. The 65 jurors voted on 10 November following a test drive session to choose the winner.


Note to editors: you can find out more about iQ, the people and the thinking behind the project, videos, pictures and worldwide news and views in a dedicated blog, available at

Toyota Press Team

For further information, please contact one of the following:
James Clark on 01737 367919 or by e-mail at
General media enquiries
Erica Haddon on 01737 367308 or by e-mail at
General media enquiries
David Rogers on 01737 367224 or by email at
General, alternative fuels and mobility media enquiries
David Crouch on 01737367505 or by email at
General, fleet and motorsport media enquiries


    Images are copyright free for editorial purposes only
  • Toyota iQ

    Dimensions:2100px x 1500px
    Size:976 KB
  • Toyota iQ

    Dimensions:2100px x 1500px
    Size:1.1 MB