Nissan at double as Qashqai wins Continental Car of Year

The Nissan Qashqai has been voted Continental Irish Car of the Year 2015 by the Irish Motoring Writers' Association (IMWA). Pictured are from left Austin Shinnors, chairman of the IMWA , James McCarthy, CEO of Nissan Ireland and Tom Dennigan, Continental Tyres Ireland.Photo Chris Bellew/Fennell Photography 2014
Nissan scored at the double at the Continental Irish Car of the Year awards.

Nissan scored at the double at the Continental Irish Car of the Year awards.

The Qashqai and the X-Trail both won awards in different categories.

In a closely run race, in which 10 points separated the top three contenders, the Nissan Qashqai was voted the top car by the members of the Irish Motoring Writers Association (IMWA).

The final voting was - 1 Nissan Qashqai 160 points; 2 Mercedes Benz C Class 155 points; 3 Peugeot 308 150 points.

Nissan won two category awards, the Qashqai in the medium car sector and the X-Trail in the large car sector.

Tom Dennigan of sponsors Continental, said that from a great crop of entrants for this year’s award the Irish Motoring Writers Association members selected an exciting model to carry the 2015 title.

“No doubt the Continental Irish Car of the Year accolade will provide a great badge of honour for the Nissan Qashqai to help it in the competitive Irish market next year,” he added.

Austin Shinnors, chairman of the IMWA, pointed out that this was the 38th year of the awards, and the Nissan Qashqai was a great car to join the 37 previous winners.

The Nissan Qashqai succeeds the Citroen C4 Picasso, which took the title last year.

The Ford Transit was voted the Continental Irish Van of the Year 2015 by the Irish Motoring Writers Association (IMWA) at the annual awards ceremony which was attended by all the leading figures from the Irish motor industry.

In determining the result, the IMWA car and van juries vote based their vote on a range of criteria including value-for-money, reliability, versatility and lasting residual value.

Presenting the award to Ciaran McMahon, Managing Director Designate of Ford Ireland, Tom Dennigan of Continental Tyres Ireland said the Ford Transit was a worthy winner of the Irish Van of the Year title and ideally suited to the needs of Ireland’s commercial vehicle operators.

“In the current resurgent commercial vehicle market, we are sure that the award will contribute in no small way to the ongoing success of the Transit,” he added.

The results for the Continental Irish car and van of the year awards 2015 have been independently reviewed for the Irish Motoring Writers Association (IMWA) by Ernst and Young, Dublin.

Austin Shinnors, chairman of the IMWA, lauded the resilience shown by the Irish motor industry during what have been testing times over the past few years. He said there was a noticeable picked up in business this year, and the hope was that it would continue in 2015.

“The industry is looking at new car sales of around 110,000 next year, which would be a good improvement on this year if it comes to pass,” he added. “All the indications are positive, and with consumer confidence improving the industry might be able to enjoy another decent year of growth which would be good for securing job.

“The industry felt the pain of the recession. It proved itself to be strong and resourceful when such qualities were needed, and it will help drive the recovery in the country now.”

The Irish Motoring Writers’ Association has organised the Irish Car of the Year Awards each year for the past 38 years.

Awards were made in six categories, reflecting the diversified nature of the car market in Ireland.

Award winners

Continental Irish small car of the year - Hyundai i10.

Continental Irish compact car of the year - Peugeot 308

Continental Irish medium car of the year - Nissan Qashqai.

Continental Irish large car of the year - Nissan X-Trail.

Continental Irish Executive car of the year - Mercedes Benz C Class.

Coninental Irish spsorts/performance car of the year - Alfa Romeo 4C

Continental overall Irish Car of the Year 2015 - Nissan Qashqai.