The 5th annual Drive car awards has crowned the Volkswagen Polo as car of the year out of 46 finalists. Fairfaxs Drive section run the ceremony, and hands out over 20 awards to new cars based on criteria like size, price range, and performance.

With magazines Top Gear and Wheels also running recognised car of the year awards, Marketing magazine asked Drive why they add to the clutter, and if it’s working for them.

Drive’s national editor Toby Hagon says the awards, which are organized internally by the Drive marketing team and involve over 20 000 km of road testing and a ceremony, are worth the effort and offer a point of difference to the other competitions.

“Rather than just awarding a single car, we look at the whole market,” Hagon tells Marketing magazine. “We try and make it the ultimate consumer car guide, we take into account every new car in the market, the whole shebang.

Like BRW said in a news story earlier today, KPIs are hard to record.

“It’s hard,” Hagon says. “I wouldn’t have a clue if they (The Age/Sydney Morning Herald) sell more papers off the back of this, but we do get more internet traffic. And it’s one of the few stories we do that trickles, it acts as a consumer guide online throughout the year, they keep coming back.”

From a marketing perspective, Hagon says the awards are important to become a respected resource for the automotive industry, and it’s working.

The calibre of senior execs coming to the awards increases every year. And we’re getting keen advertisers who want to use cross promotion. The awards shows the industry we take the road testing very seriously, it demonstrates we’re a very serious player. ”