The Toyota Prius was voted Japan's Car of the Year at the 41st Tokyo Motor Show on October 22, adding another trophy to the extensive collection already racked up by the hybrid.
The Toyota Prius defeated its closest hybrid competitor, the Honda Insight, by the narrowest margin in the 30-year history of the award. The jury included 61 automotive journalists and car industry representatives.
The Volkswagen Golf came a distant third but was honored as Import Car of the Year. Placing fourth was the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, an all-electric mini car available in Japan and slated for the US in 2010, followed by the Mercedes Benz E-Class, the eighth and newest generation of the iconic luxury car.
The Prius has become a darling of the industry for its combination of environmentally-friendly technology and affordability. More than 1.3 million Prius have been sold worldwide, making it the undisputed hybrid king.
The third-generation Prius has been Japan's best-selling car for the last five months, it regularly cracks the top 10 in the US and is the only vehicle to be among the top 10 most fuel-efficient mainstream models across the European, Japanese and US markets.
Some of the car honors awarded to the Prius include: Japan's Car of the Year in 1997, North American Car of the Year in 2004, European Car of the Year 2005 and a litany of others.