Cars of the Decade - 2001

Jay Nagley

Every year, one new car is voted "Car of the Year". Each day over the Christmas holiday, we look back at each winner in the last decade – and say which car should have won, with the benefit of hindsight. Occasionally they are even the same car...

On the last day, we'll nominate our "Car of the Decade" – and it's not a favourite of the COTY jury...


Official Winner: Alfa 147

Autoblog Winner: Ford Mondeo

This was virtually a tie, with the Alfa winning by a single point from the Ford. They are not much easier to separate now, but the fact that the 147 turned out to be a sales flop must count against it. It did well for a couple of years as the first premium Golf-class car but, when the Audi A3 came out, everybody said, "Oh that is what a premium small car is meant to be like" and 147 sales evaporated. The Mondeo was not perfect – its styling said that it wanted to be an Audi, and why would people aspire to a car that clearly wanted to be something else? However, it had a fantastic chassis that set the benchmark for its class, so it gets the nod.