The finalists for the annual European Car of the Year award have been announced for 2017. Chosen by a combined panel of 58 journalists from 22 European countries, over 30 contenders in the first round were narrowed down to just seven vehicles from Citroen, Alfa Romeo, Toyota, and others.
Combining a field of premium sedans, superminis, and two SUVs, the finalists are as follows:
Of the seven finalists, all but two are European models (the Nissan Micra and Toyota C-HR), and just one marque (Volvo) has never won the award. To make things more interesting, neither an American or Korean marque made the final cut, nor any EV or hybrid models.
The new Alfa Romeo Giulia with its handsome styling and advanced Giorgio platform seems like an early front-runner. But the new Volvo S90 and V90 sedan and wagon shouldn't be discounted, nor the new tech-heavy Nissan Micra. The Toyota C-HR meanwhile is brand new for the 2017 model year.
The award, which has been honoring vehicles and marques since 1964, was first given to the Rover 2000, and has led to 52 others winners since then. Fiat is the most decorated manufacturer in the award's 52-year history, taking home nine wins with cars like the 124, 128, and 500, while Renault, Ford, and Opel follow close behind with six and five wins respectively.
The winner will be announced at the Geneva Motor Show on March 6, 2017, with each of the 58 jury members dividing 25 points among at least five of the candidates. Last year's award was given to the new Opel Astra, while 2015 saw the VW Passat, 2014 saw the Peugeot 308, and in 2013, the VW Golf took home the award.