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The winners of the Japan Car of the Year Awards for 2014 have been announced and Mazda has taken home to the top prize. The all-new Mazda Demio (or Mazda2 as it’s known everywhere else) has been crowned the supreme winner this year.

Mazda’s new Demio was launched only a month ago in Japan and has been well received by critics over there. Judges of the awards noted the Demio’s option of a Diesel engine and a price tag of under ¥2million ($23,785).

Judges also praised the Demio’s design, quality, and technology which “shatters” traditional perceptions of affordable domestic-made compact cars. The ability to re-introducing driving enjoyment with a manual transmission was also noted. They described the Demio as a Japanese compact car with ability to appeal around the world.

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Other big winners included Mercedes-Benz’s new C-Class as the Import Car of the Year. Taking home the Innovative Car of the Year award was the BMW i3. Honda’s N-WGN won kei-car of the year while Toyota got a special mention for its efforts in developing fuel cell vehicles.

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The Demio is the second win for Mazda at the Japan Car of the Year Awards, the first being the CX-5 in 2012. What do you think of the winners? My Japanese car of the year would definitely have to be the Copen. Fantastic little thing. And what about an Auto Clique Car of the Year? That could be interesting…

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