The Opel Astra has narrowly beaten the Volvo XC90 to be named European Car of the Year.

When the votes were tallied, the Astra come out on top with 309 points which put it ahead of the XC90 which received 294 votes.  The third place finalist was Mazda MX-5 which garnered 202 points. 

The remaining contenders where relatively far behind as the Audi A4 received 189 points and the Jaguar XE got 163 points.  Last but not least, the Skoda Superb was awarded 147 points while the BMW 7 Series came in a distant seventh with 143 points.

This year's jury consisted of 58 journalists from 22 European countries.  Each juror was tasked with allocating 25 points to the seven finalists under the condition that no car could receive more than ten points and the points had to be distributed among at least five of the contenders.

Originally unveiled at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, the redesigned Opel Astra is a major improvement as it rides on an all-new platform that enables the model to weigh up to 441 pounds less than its predecessor.  The car also features an upgraded interior as well as an assortment of fuel-efficient three- and four-cylinder engines.

Source: Autocar

Gallery: Opel Astra named European Car of the Year

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