Opel's new-generation Astra managed to edge out heavy competition from Volvo and Mazda as it was awarded "Car of the Year 2016" by a jury of 58 automotive journalists.
The Astra received 309 total points, barely escaping the reach of Volvo's new XC90, which finished second with 294 votes, while the Mazda MX-5 received 202 votes though still finishing on the podium ahead of the new Skoda Superb, Jaguar XE, Audi A4 and BMW 7-Series.
The award was presented at the 86th Geneva International Motor Show to Opel CEO Dr Karm-Thomas Neumann who stated that this year's winner "represents the start of a new era at Opel and victory in this year's 'Car of the Year' competition shows that we are on the right track. It is an honor for us to receive such a prestigious award from leading automotive journalists."
Opel's latest generation Astra has been on a roll since launch, having already won other international awards such as Safetybest 2015 and the 2015 Golden Steering Wheel - the fact that it received a maximum of 5 stars during Euro NCAP tests is also an award in and of itself.
Also, when considering the last eight editions of the COTY awards, the fact that three new Opel models, including the Ampera in 2012 and the Insignia in 2009, have come out on top, speaks volumes for GM's European brand.