If there’s one automotive market in the world that has so much impact on our vehicle choices, it’s Japan. The top two auto companies (Toyota and Mitsubishi) in our market by virtue of sales are Japanese, while their compatriots also move healthy numbers.
And so when folks from the Land of the Rising Sun announce what their current favorite car is, we just have to surrender our undivided attention.
Last year, the same manufacturer (Mazda) bagged the COTY-PH (2 Sedan) and COTY-JP (MX-5) awards. This year, as we know, Honda grabbed the Philippine trophy courtesy of the all-new Civic. For the 2016-17 Japanese COTY? Well, Subaru won the honor for just the second time, and it’s thanks to the fifth-generation model. The company last received the award in 2003-04 for the Legacy.
It should be noted that this all-new Impreza has not been launched in the Philippines (Subaru’s distributor, however, has sent out invites to the motoring press for a test drive in Singapore next month). This means it wasn’t included on the roster of contenders for our very own COTY-PH. It would be very interesting to see which car comes out on top between the Impreza and the Civic.
In winning the COTY-JP award, the Impreza, which is available as both a four-door sedan and a five-door hatchback, beat the Toyota Prius, the Audi A4, the Volvo XC90, the BMW M2, the Fiat 124 Spider, the Honda Freed, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the Jaguar F-Pace and the Nissan Serena.
“It is a great honor that the Impreza has been recognized with this distinctive award,” said Fuji Heavy Industries president and CEO Yasuyuki Yoshinaga in a statement. “I would like to thank our customers, suppliers and shareholders for their continued support for Subaru, and I am grateful to all those who contributed to this achievement. We will continue to enhance our efforts to offer an ‘enjoyment and peace of mind’ driving experience to all customers.”
In case you’re wondering, the COTY-JP award is open even to non-Japanese models. Yes, there’s a separate Import Car of the Year award, but a foreign vehicle is also qualified for the top domestic prize. The first—and so far only—non-Japanese car to win COTY-JP is the Volkswagen Golf, which pulled off the rare feat in 2013-14.
Anyway, the Audi A4 is the 2016-17 Import Car of the Year, if you’re curious.
Congratulations, Subaru and Audi!