The tail-end of the year means one of many things: awards – and one of the most talked-about accolades in the Petrol News office is the European Car of the Year award.
We’ll have to wait until March to find out which car claims the title this time, but there’s reason to debate what will win out after the seven finalists were announced.
The longlist of 37 eligible cars has been whittled down to the following:
- Alfa Romeo Stelvio,
- Audi A8,
- BMW 5 Series,
- Citroen C3 Aircross,
- Kia Stinger,
- SEAT Ibiza
- and Volvo XC40
So a mixed bunch on the whole. Three of them are SUVs, one’s a sports coupe, two are premium saloons and there’s a humble supermini in there too.
The overall winner will be decided by a jury comprising 60 automotive journalists from 23 countries and revealed on March 5th 2018 at the Geneva International Motor Show.
The Car of the Year award has been handed out every year since 1964, and in 2018, the winner will have to satisfy multiple criteria including quality-price ratio, design, comfort, safety, technologies and environmental performance.
Don’t presume it’ll be the most lavish or sporty model that claims the title; the current holder is the Peugeot 3008, and before it, it was the Vauxhall Astra and VW Passat, while Fiat has bagged the European Car of the Year title more than any other brand (nine times). BMW has never won it and Mercedes has only triumphed the once, and that was in 1974 with the S-Class.
Four of the European candidates – the Stelvio, C3 Aircross, Stinger and Ibiza – could make it a double by claiming the World Car of the Year when the winner is announced at the New York Auto Show in April. The current holder of the World title is the Jaguar F-Pace – more on that here.
Stephen Hasley, brand manager at Petrol News, comments: “It’s tough to pick a winner from seven finalists. The 5 Series is a remarkable machine so this could be the year that BMW finally does it, but the jury is renowned for choosing sensible, practical and good value models so the Ibiza and C3 Aircross have just as much of a chance.”
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