As I write, the 2017 European Car of the Year (CotY) shortlist has been announced. CotY is a pan-European contest of which Autocar is a sponsoring member. I’m Autocar’s representative and one of six UK judges.
It works like this: if a car is on sale in enough places in Europe in 2016, then it goes onto the long list, which totalled 30 cars this year. Cars have to be sufficiently new – so a facelift usually doesn’t make it.
There are 58 judges from around Europe, and they pick their seven top cars from the long list at the end of November. The seven cars with the most votes make the shortlist.
It’s a decent enough shortlist. Some jury members I’ve spoken to would rather the Skoda Kodiaq had found its way on there. Some, including me, felt the Jaguar F-Pace deserved a shot, too, especially as CotY has been slow to identify with a market that has shifted so far towards SUVs and crossovers. None has won the contest.
Perhaps it’s a pity that there are no boundary pushers, either – no Toyota Mirai or Tesla Model X, for instance. But this is a contest that has given the gong to the Nissan Leaf and Opel Ampera in the past, so it can’t be accused of looking backwards.