Video of the Day: Australian magazine’s cars of the year pass in review

Budget Direct presents a video parade of the winners

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car of the year
Early winners of Wheels magazine's car of the year award | Budget Direct illustrations

In the past couple of days, we’ve shared Australian auto insurance company Budget Direct’s video review of the Motor Trend and What Car? car-of-the-year selections made in the United States and in England, respectively. Today, the series moves to Australia and the cars of the year as selected by Wheels magazine.

Wheels magazine of Australia awarded its first Car of the Year award in 1963 to the Renault 8,” Budget Direct notes. “Not surprisingly, Holden is the brand with the most COTY awards, taking the crown 10 times. As far as models go, it’s a draw between the Volkswagen Golf and Mazda MX-5 for most wins, with three each.

“The Honda Odyssey is the only minivan to be awarded by Wheels as COTY in 1995. Honda was also the first hybrid to be declared COTY by Wheels magazine with the CRZ in 2011. The first EV to win COTY was the BMW i3 in 2014, followed recently by the Mercedes EQC SUV in 2020.”

And here’s an interesting footnote regarding journalistic integrity: “Wheels refused to crown a COTY winner in 1972, 1979, and 1986, deciding that no new cars were worthy of the coveted COTY award.”

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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