The New York International Auto show saw the new Mazda2 crowned World Car of the Year 2008 (WCOTY).
Of the 39 entries to the final short-list the Mazda2 saw off stiff competition from the Ford Mondeo and Mercedes-Benz C-Class and also went on to be listed in the top three finalists in the design category, along with the Audi R8 and Volvo C30.
Dan Morris, Mazda’s senior managing executive officer in charge of marketing, sales and customer service, said: "We are delighted that the 2008 World Car of the Year jury has chosen the Mazda2 as their World Car of the Year.
"The all-new Mazda2 is exceeding our highest expectations, demonstrating it can compete and win against the best sub-compact cars in any market in the world."
The WCOTY title is decided by a jury of 47 international automotive journalists, who select the overall winner by secret ballot.