The Mercedes-Benz A class suffered a surprisingly decisive defeat in the 2013 European Car of the Year contest won easily by the Volkswagen Golf.
I thought the Golf would win, but I expected the A class to be a close second, definitely not a disappointing fifth place.
The voters saw it very differently. The Golf crushed the competition beating the second place Toyota GT86/Subaru BRZ 414 votes to 202.
The No. 2 finish for the virtually unknown low-production coupe was the other big surprise of the contest after the A class's poor showing.
Third place went to the Volvo V40, with 189 votes, followed by the Ford B-Max (148 votes) and then the A class (138 votes), based on votes from European automotive journalists.
The Renault Clio was No. 6 at 128 votes, just eight votes ahead of its arch rival, the Peugeot 208. The Hyundai i30 finished last among the eight finalists with 111 votes.
Does Daimler boss Dieter Zetsche need to worry that such a poor result will hurt sales of the new A class? Absolutely not. The Golf was No. 1 in European sales in the key compact segment for multiple car generations before the Car of the Year jurors first picked the third generation model as the region's best in 1992.
The Golf is the second VW model in four years to be named European Car of the Year. The Polo won the award in 2010.