MERCEDES-BENZ has scored a hat-trick in this year's World Car of the Year awards including the top honour which went to the new C-Class.
The prestige German brand also picked up the luxury car of the year award for the S-Class Coupe and saw the Mercedes-AMG voted best performance car.
The awards, now in their 11 year, were made at the New York Auto show and are determined by a panel of 75 automotive writers.
The C-Class was selected outright winner from a shortlist of three which also included the Volkswagen Passat and the Ford Mustang.
Dr Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the board of management of Daimler AG and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars said: "The C-Class is a best seller that has always been a trendsetter in the premium medium-size category. This is true for the new C-Class as well.
"It comes to the starting line with qualities usually reserved for higher-class automobiles - ecologically, technically and also with regard to comfort and driving pleasure. It embodies what we understand modern automotive luxury made by Mercedes-Benz to be and has all the prerequisites to be a huge success. Accordingly we are extremely delighted of winning the honour of World Car of the Year."
The judges praised the C-Class for its all-round refinement and performance saying: "Taking its design and technological cues from the S-Class, the C-Class employs an all-new aluminium/steel hybrid platform and updated rear-drive powertrains that delivers levels of refinement, luxury, safety, ride and handling that challenge best-in-class."
Other winners in this year's award were the Citroen C4 Cactus which was named design of the year and the BMW i8 which won the 'green' car category.