Mazda’s CX-5 compact crossover has claimed the 2012-13 Car of the Year Japan (JCOTY) title. The award, first given in 1980, is decided by a panel of 60 automotive journalists. Last year’s winner was the Nissan Leaf and this is the fourth time Mazda has won; the MX-5 (or Roadster as it is known in Japan) won in 2005.

All passenger vehicles with an expected annual sales volume of over 500 units, announced or launched in Japan between 1 November, 2011 and 31 October, 2012 were eligible for the award.

The tussle to win this year’s JCOTY title was expected to be a straight fight between the Mazda and the Toyota GT86/Subaru BRZ. In the end, the Mazda won comfortably by 45 votes over the jointly-developed sports car which won the jury’s Steering Wheel award.

Journalist Peter Lyon, one of only two foreigners on the panel, told Motor Trend magazine that he allocated his votes to the Mazda because “its all-new Skyactiv fuel-saving clean technologies do not rely on hybrid or electric power. It’s an impressive achievement for an automaker that has totally reinvented itself twice in just 10 years.”

The BMW 3 series won ‘import car of the year’ with 282 votes ahead of the Range Rover Evoque (218 votes).

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Mazda CX-5 Wins Car of the Year Japan


HIROSHIMA, Japan—Mazda Motor Corporation's compact crossover SUV, the CX-5 has been named the 2012-2013 Car of the Year Japan. The award was announced by the Japan Car of the Year committee on November 29, 2012.


2012-2013 CAR OF THE YEAR JAPAN Mazda CX-5 "XD L Package"
Mazda CX-5 "XD L Package"


The CX-5 was the first model to adopt the full suite of Mazda's SKYACTIV*1 technologies including the engine, transmission, body and chassis. It offers a predictable and refined driving experience together with outstanding environmental and safety performance. It is also the first model to fully embody Mazda's new design theme, KODO-Soul of Motion. With finely-honed vitality and dynamism, its styling is reminiscent of a cheetah about to pounce on its prey.


The CX-5 equipped with Mazda's new-generation SKYACTIV-D clean diesel engine boasts powerful driving comparable to a 4.0-liter V8 gasoline engine vehicle thanks to 420 N-m of maximum torque. At the same time, it achieves an SUV class-topping fuel economy rating*2 of 18.6 km/L (JC08 test cycle mode with FWD model).


In approximately nine months since sales of the CX-5 started in February, Mazda has received 37,000 orders; equivalent to more than three years of sales at the anticipated volume of 1,000 units per month, and sales continue to be strong.


All passenger vehicles with an expected annual sales volume of over 500 units, announced or launched in Japan between November 1, 2011 and October 31, 2012 are eligible for this year's Japan Car of the Year award. The last Mazda to be named the Car of the Year Japan was the MX-5 (known as Roadster in Japan) in 2005. The CX-5 is the fourth Mazda to win the award.


Executive Officer Kiyoshi Fujiwara commented, "We are thrilled to have the CX-5 receive such a coveted award and appreciate the warm support and encouragement of our fans. Spurred on by this honor, we will continue to dedicate ourselves to the task of crafting cars that only Mazda can, in order to continue winning the support of our fans and customers into the future."


  • *1 An umbrella term for Mazda's new-generation technologies, including SKYACTIV-G gasoline engine, SKYACTIV-D diesel engine, SKYACTIV-DRIVE automatic transmission, high-performance lightweight SKYACTIV-CHASSIS and lightweight highly rigid SKYACTIV-BODY
  • *2 As of November 2012 (Mazda data)

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