The fifth-generation Volkswagen Polo was the first world car of the year of the 10’s. It won a host of awards, too, such as its first-ever European Car of the Year and WhatCar? Supermini of the year. What set the Polo aside from its competitors was its extremely generous interior cabin comfort and technology and a wide range of economical engines.
At the time, the Polo was the clear winner in its segment and an example of what a car should be inside and out whilst still being very affordable. Its success spurred it on all the way to the sixth generation in 2017.
Along the way, it even managed to get a tasty GTI edition.
In 2011, the revolutionary all-electric hatchback won the World Car of the Year title by finally making an EV viable for the mass consumer market. The Leaf’s charm came with its standard hatchback looks and practicality and zero emissions giving those who have a desire to be green a viable option, especially for those living in London wanting to avoid congestion charges.
Despite now having a lot more competition from the likes of the Renault Zoe and VW e-Golf it is still one of the most popular electric choices and has done wonders for the EV revolution on British roads. It has since had a facelift and was the only EV to win this award before the I-Pace in 2019.
The VW up! along with its sisters, the Citigo and Mii shook up the city car market early in the decade by showing everyone that small cars do not need to be basic on the inside and can have more or less the same stuff as biggers cars, do. The VW group did it so well they won an award for it.
The seventh-generation Golf did not reinvent the wheel, instead, the German giants demonstrated how to create a mid-range vehicle that did everything without complaints or fancy bells and whistles.
Moreover, the 7th and the mid-range facelift brought the GTI and R to mainstream petrol heads at an incredibly reasonable price making it the ultimate family hatchback and the best car of 2013 by a country mile.
The A3 was the first vehicle which used the VW flexible modular system “MQB” and they added more to what made the previous A3 last for 10 years before being upgraded. A step up in luxury from the Golf with a more sporty feel made the A3 an instant success when it was launched in late 2013.
Due to enter its fourth generation in 2020.
Gone was the stuffy image of the C Class and in with the sportier feel and plenty of critics and customers alike wamed to it instantly. The new C Class also benefited by a new structure which is much more agile than the previous generation and made the car feel light despite its size.
A clear winner in a very tough market.
The Mazda MX-5 is the best selling two-seater sports car of all time since its inception in 1988. Now in its fourth generation, the sales aren’t as strong as they used to with many shunning sporty cars for economical ones but the quality has not changed. The MX-5 is arguably just as good as it's ever been. The engine has had improvements with more power and now comes as a retractable roof fastback shows that Mazda is as keen as ever to keep up and surpass its competitors.
A stunning car and a worthy winner of the WCOY which is typically dominated by hatchbacks, saloons and SUVs.
Related: Mazda MX-5 facts
The F-Pace was the first SUV by Jaguar and it was a cracker and became Jaguar’s best selling model in 2016. Boasting powerful and economical engines, a souped-up SVR model and class-leading interior the F-Pace proved that you can enter a crowded market and make your mark on it.
The F-Pace was the first SUV winner of the WCOY award of the decade which is a real surprise if you think about it.
The first 60 series Volvo following the takeover from Geely is an absolute powerhouse which is not only the safest in its class but the most technologically equipped. The second-generation XC60 also brought with it hybrid engines making it a viable option for those looking for more economy and fewer emissions.
The last World Car of the Year of the decade is another Jaguar but this time it’s the first-ever all-electric Jag. Perhaps more impressive is that the I-PACE is also the first-ever all-electric SUV from a premium automaker and puts a marker down that Jaguar are still well and truly in the EV game. On top of WCOY, it also won the best design and best green car categories.
The I-PACE has been noted to walk the talk when it comes to being an EV - it is not just for show its performance at an incredible level at a price which does not make it unachievable to modest incomes.