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.

In alphabetical order, this year’s shortlisted cars are the Alfa Romeo GiuliaCitroën C3Mercedes-Benz E-ClassNissan MicraPeugeot 3008Toyota C-HR and Volvo S90/V90.