Though it was up against the likes of Godzilla, the tiny Toyota iQ has come out on top at the 2008 Japan Car of the Year (JCOTY) awards. The win is seen as a potential selling point against competition like Daimler's Smart ForTwo micro car, especially in a segment that's differentiated largely on appearances.

Last year's victor was the Honda Jazz (or Fit as it's known in the U.S.), another small car that's won a lot of international praise. The iQ won this year's award for many of the same reasons: very effective use of a small amount of space, slipping 3-4 passengers into its sub-10ft (3m) length. Keeping fuel efficiency high and equipping no fewer than 9 airbags into the urban-centric vehicle also helped push it to the top.

The Citroen C5 took home the Foreign JCOTY award,and also garnered the second most points of all the finalists, though its total (223) was less than half the 526 points awarded to the iQ. Even the vaunted Nissan GT-R, winner of the Most Advanced Technology award, could only scare up 201 points. Audi's A4 and the Jaguar XF rounded out the top 5.