Europe's car of the year named at Geneva Motor Show

The VW Golf model car, awarded "Car of the year 2013" is displayed on March 4, 2013 on the eve of the press day of the Geneva Motor Show in Geneva. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images) FABRICE COFFRINI

GENEVA The Volkswagen Golf has been named Europe's Car of the Year by automotive journalists from more than 20 countries.

Introduced in 1974 and recently redesigned, the hatchback is the company's mass-market flagship -- and a key element in its ambition to overtake Toyota as the world's biggest carmaker.

The car left the competition in the dust Monday on the eve of the Geneva Motor Show, grabbing 414 votes. The Subaru BRZ, also sold as the Toyota GT-86, was second with 202 votes and the Volvo V40 third with 189 votes.

The award is one of the most important in Europe and gives consumers an idea of what the experts think the car of the future is. But it's old news for the Golf, which has already won it in 1992.

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