Over in the land of the rising sun, the local committee for the Car of the Year Awards, which is composed of the country’s top automotive journalists, has announced that a Toyota crossover has taken the top spot for the 2019-2020 model year. After tallying the scores, they have awarded the 5th generation Toyota RAV4 as Japan’s Car of the Year for 2019-2020.
The Japan Car of the Year (JCOTY) is given to newly-released or newly-redesigned vehicles made for the Japanese market. To qualify, the vehicle needs to be in the market by November 1 of the previous year and still be on sale by October 31 of the current year. Each award spans two calendar years.
According to JCOTY, they gave the top spot to the Toyota crossover because it “responded to all needs at a high level.” This means that it met the criteria of the judges and more. The judges liked the three types of all-wheel-drive systems being offered in the RAV4. Another thing that the judges liked was the new platform that the crossover rides on – Toyota’s New Global Architecture. The vehicle was also cited to be both enjoyable and comfortable. On top of this, pricing, as well as cargo space, was also commended along with the Japan-exclusive data communication module.
The RAV4 came in with a score of 435 points with its nearest competitor being the Mazda3 coming in with 328 points. Mazda was the home favorite to win but the RAV4 was able to beat it by a noticeable amount. The Toyota crossover also has the distinction of being the 40th Japanese vehicle to be on the list. Last year the award went to the Volvo XC60. The crossover also marks Toyota’s second model in the awards with its first model being the Prius in 2009-2010.