European Car of the Year Shortlist Announced

Mon 26th Nov 2018

The seven nominees for the prestigious European Car of the Year award have been announced, with automakers keen to follow in the footsteps of this year’s winner the Volvo XC40.

Widely regarded as one of the biggest prizes in motoring, the winner will be chosen by a panel of 60 motoring journalists from across 23 different European countries, with the winner announced at the Geneva Motor Show in March. The only qualifying criteria to be nominated was that the car must be a new model, on sale now and available to buy in at least five European countries.

Here’s our review of the seven top contenders…


Alpine A110
French car manufacturer Alpine revealed the all-new A110 at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, so it would be apt if two years on it claimed the main award. The original Alpine A110 enjoyed 16 solid years of success from 1961 to 1977 and reviews have been glowing for the return, even though it had a spectacular fire when reviewed on Top Gear this year.


Citroën C5 Aircross
The trend for compact crossover SUVs continues with this curvy French number. Built on the same platform as both the 4008 and 5008, though not the 3008 which previously won the Car of the Year, the C5 Aircross is another that was teased at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show when CEO Linda Jackson showed sketches on Twitter. Interior space and interior luninosity are the key USP features of this popular car.

Ford Focus
If the European Car of the Year award was based on sales alone, then the Focus would be clear favorite amongst this shortlist. Ford unveiled the new-look compact car to European and Asian markets to celebrate the marque’s 20th anniversary, complete with a sportier design and simpler interior and of course a host technology improvements. The new Focus even came with a crossover SUV trim to keep up with the latest trends.

Jaguar I-Pace
The first electric SUV from a premium European car maker, the I-Pace has certainly grabbed many of the headlines since going on sale in the second half of 2018. Designed by Ian Callum, this five-seater sports car first debuted at the 2016 Los Angeles motor show and borrows some of its technology from Jaguar’s Formula E racing car programme. Sure to be a strong contender for the award.

Kia Ceed
Another to use the Geneva Motor Show as its launchpad, Kia have dropped the strange apostrophes from its name and produced a compact car that comes with a host of different options. Designer Peter Schreyer has delivered an estate version and a hatchback and with competitive pricing and that unrivalled seven-year warranty the Ceed is certainly a contender.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class
The battle for autonomous technology shows no sign of slowing down and angle is certainly a key feature of this luxury hatchback. Technology lies at the heart of the A-Class, the fourth generation of an eternally popular model in just over two decades.
Alongside an ultra-bling touchscreen display, the A-Class demonstrates the latest in automatic braking assist, in addition to automatic lane keeping. For an extra fee the autonomy levels can be raised to include automatically slowing down at bends, junctions and roundabouts and braking if it spots crossing traffic or pedestrians.

Peugeot 508
With saloons falling way behind the demand for SUVs, the inclusion of the 508 may puzzle, some. But this is a European award, not just a UK standard and saloons remain popular on the continent. Peugeot have great pedigree in this competition having won twice in the last four years and will be keen to complete an unlikely hat-trick.