Toyota Prius Grabs 2024 Japan Car of the Year Award

The all-new Toyota Prius has won the 2024 Japan Car of the Year (JCOTY) award. This is the third time the Prius has been named Car of the Year in Japan with earlier trophies coming in 2009/10 and 1997/98, plus another special JCOTY award in the “innovation” category in 2017/18 for the Prius PHV.


According to Prius chief engineer Satoki Oya, the car’s reinvention was a case of extremes when former CEO Akio Toyoda recommended that the Prius, a game-changing petrol hybrid first introduced in 1997, had run its course and should be retired and relegated to taxi status. But product planners and engineers, believing the Prius’s fate could be turned around, totally redesigned the exterior and rethought the powertrain, making the hybrid pioneer the most stylish it’s ever been with significantly increased performance and better fuel economy.

Toyota Prius chief engineer Satoki Oya holds the Japan Car of the Year trophy

The Toyota Prius with 360 points among the final nominees, convincingly beat the runners-up BMW X1 (150 points) and Honda ZR-V (100 points) to grab the title. BMW X1 however won the Import Car of the Year in this year’s JCOTY awards.


The 660cc Mitsubishi Delica Mini kei-car won the Design Car of the Year trophy in the special awards category. On the other hand, the Nissan Serena took home the Technology Car of the Year award for its new e-Power system employing a 3-cylinder 1.4-litre hybrid and Pro-Pilot 2.0 driver assist system which allows hands-off driving on highways.


The Japan Car of the Year awards, in their 44th year, comprised 60 jurors chosen by representatives from 39 major automotive and lifestyle publications. During a rigorous voting process, the jurors tested the cars selected as the “10 Best” for 2023 at the Sodegaura Forest Raceway, which is located close to Tokyo.


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