The shortlist of contenders for the 2017 European Car of the Year award has been announced this week.
The award process selects seven finalists for the final phase of voting with the 2017 winner to be announced at the Geneva Motor Show on March 6.
In alphabetical order (by brand) the finalists are the new Alfa Romeo Giulia sports sedan, Citroen’s new C3 hatchback, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the fifth generation Nissan Micra small car, Peugeot’s second generation 3008 crossover, Toyota’s new C-HR compact crossover and the Volvo S90/V90 sedan and estate duo.
The European COTY award is voted on by a jury of 58 judges representing motoring publications from 22 European nations. All new cars introduced into at least five European markets in the last 12 months are considered before the finalists were announced.
Of the seven finalists the Mercedes-Benz E-Class has been on sale in New Zealand since mid-year and the first examples of the Volvo S90 have just landed.
The Alfa Giulia, Toyota C-HR are expected to launch locally in the first quarter of 2017 with the Volvo V90, Citroen C3 and Peugeot 3008 set to arrive here second-quarter and mid-year.
Nissan New Zealand managing director John Manley said the specification of the new Micra is being evaluated but a role in the local market isn’t confirmed yet.
The current ECOTY title holder is the Opel/Vauxhall Astra which will go on sale in New Zealand badged as the Holden Astra from February. The Astra finished ahead of the Volvo XC90 and Mazda MX-5 in last year’s competition.