The latest model of the Opel Astra has been named Europe's 2016 Car of the Year, organisers of the award said Monday ahead of the March 3-13 Geneva International Motor Show.
The small family car fought off competition from hefty rivals including the Audi A4, the BMW Series 7 limousine, the Jaguar XE, Maza MX-5 roadster, the Skoda Superb and a Volvo 4x4, the XC90.
The prize, determined by a jury of 58 motoring journalists in 22 countries, is the most prestigious car award in Europe and is widely used in advertising by the winning manufacturer.
Opel boss Karl-Thomas Neumann said the firm's designers had rethought the entire Astra model, in particular in areas of high tech.
"We have gone through each detail and we have listened to the customer and made this car efficient in all areas," he said. "(...) It's the best connected car in its segment."
Opel, a struggling unit of the US giant General Motors, is to unveil a concept sports car, the Opel GT, at the Geneva show. Its products are sold in Britain under the Vauxhall badge.
The firm earned the 2012 Car of the Year award for its model the Ampera, and won in 2009 for the Insignia.
The 2015 winner was the Volkswagen Passat.