Motor Trend has named the Chattanooga-made Volkswagen Passat the 2012 Car of the Year.

The announcement was made on the Motor Trend website Tuesday.

"The package provides good accommodation, and like the Audi [A6], what is remarkable is the restraint shown with the handling of the design. Clean, beautiful surfaces have been refined for an engaging result," said Motor Trend's Tom gale.

"Driven against three market-equivalent examples of the sales-leading Camry, this Yankee Doodle Vee-Dub evinced 100-percent German DNA with better body-motion control, less tire noise, and more eager dynamics in every situation. In short, it drives way smaller and more scintillatingly than it looks," the magazine reports.

Motor Trend says this year's Car of the Year vote was the closest ever, ending with a tie between the Volkswagen Passat and the Chrysler 300. The Passat came out ahead only after the second and third place votes for each were counted.

The award is the culmination of a three year journey that began with the announcement that the German automaker would build its billion-dollar assembly plant in the Scenic City. The plant now employs more than 2,000 people.

This isn't the end of the road for VW though, the company says it plans to become the world's leading automotive manufacturer. And with new car sales outpacing expectations, led by the Passat, they are well on their way.