Ford's sporty MPV, the S-Max , has won the 2007 Car of the Year award in one of the most closely fought contests in years. It won by a margin of only three points from Vauxhall's Corsa supermini.  Another MPV, Citroen's new C4 Picasso scored a strong third-place.

"This year's Car of The Year shows the power and value of this competition, the most important in Europe by a mile. It highlights the excellence of the two cars most of us thought would rise to the surface - the Vauxhall Corsa and Ford S-Max - but because all eight cars scored well, it also makes a strong point about the about the all-round excellence of new cars today.  An ideal result, I'd say,"  said Steve Cropley, COTY juror and Autocar editor-in-chief.

The competition's 58-strong panel of jurors, motoring journalists from 22 European countries, gave the S-Max 235 points against 233 for the Corsa and 222 for the Citroen.  All eight finalists in this year's competition scored highly. Even the eighth-placed car, the Fiat Punto, amassed 138 votes.

The S-Max's victory, which Ford's management will take as clear backing for their decision to launch a new kind of "driver's" MPV, comes at a time when demand for full-size people-carriers has been falling.

Published : 15/11/06 Author : Melanie Carter

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