Toyota iQ Wins Car of the Year… in Japan

13 November 2008

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

Download this release as a PDF below

Toyota iQ Wins Car of the Year… in Japan


Images are copyright free for editorial purposes only

Media enquiries

Please click here to see the press contacts at Toyota (GB):

Show Press Contacts

For further information, please contact:

David Rogers

07825 280608 or by email at

General, alternative fuels and mobility media enquiries

David Crouch

07909 900 085 or by email at

General, fleet and motorsport media enquiries

Please understand that our press team only deal with enquiries from media representatives.

Toyota and Lexus Press Releases

To receive all Toyota and Lexus press information, please select the box below.

To update your profile type in your email address and press return. MailChimp will then send you an email confirming your details and you will then have the opportunity of amending your details.

* indicates required
All Toyota/Lexus News