Mazda2 has won the 2008 World Car of the Year competition, beating off 38 other cars. It was also on the top three list in the design category.

The superb Mazda2, aka Demio in Japan, is now parked on the World Car of the Year throne for 2008. New king of the world Mazda2 won its crown over other top-three finalists Ford Mondeo and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. So dominant was the Mazda2 this time that it also came in for a podium finish when results were released for the top three design awards where it was in the company of the Audi R8 and Volvo C30. In total there were 39 initial contenders on the list.

World Car of the Year was won by the BMW 3 Series in 2006 and the Lexus LS 460 in 2007. The international competition is conducted by and voted on through secret ballot by 47 international jurors with extensive automotive journalism experience behind their names. They hail from various countries in AustraliAsia, North America, South America, Africa and Europe.

Mazda2, the little car that could and did, is the reigning Car of the Year in several countries including South Africa, Greece, Austria, Belgium and Denmark.

Gallery: Mazda2 wins World Car of the Year Award