It is the second year running that a lower-medium car has won the award in the Association of Car Fleet Operators (ACFO) Fleet Car and Van of the Year Awards.
Other winners announced at a dinner last night were the Ford Transit Connect (light van) and Ford Transit (panel van).
Prior to the Ford Focus winning the Car of the Year Award last year, only upper-medium sector models such as the Ford Mondeo, Vauxhall Cavalier and Vectra and Volkswagen Passat, had been recognised by fleet operators in the 22-year history of the awards.
ACFO chairman Tony Leigh said: ‘The fact that a lower medium sector model has won the Car of the Year Award for the second consecutive year highlights that fleet operators are very aware of the Government’s desire to encourage the uptake of environmentally-friendly models through its company car taxation strategy.’
He added that a series of factors fundamental to the fleet vehicle decision-making process contributed to the Astra’s win.
Leigh said: ‘Our members are continually evaluating vehicles and use their expertise to assess cars and vans against a wide range of real-life criteria including wholelife costs, operational performance and suitability for the business use.
‘In addition to these fleet appeal factors, driver appeal is also critical and the Astra clearly delivers this. The whole support package from the manufacturer and their dealers are also very important factors.’