I won’t lie to you, reader. The Car of the Year announcement can sometimes be a straightforward affair.
Not this year. The voting swung this way and that and, near the end, I thought there might be an almighty clanger as Car of the Year overlooked some landmark cars.
But as the final votes were revealed, country by country, slightly Eurovision-style, parity was restored, the UK jurors’ votes were announced last, and then, surprise: two cars were tied in first place.
It was a result unprecedented in Car of the Year’s 55-year history. Which, given some 60 jurors from 23 European countries have 25 points each to distribute across the seven shortlisted cars – meaning there are 1500 points for grabs in total – is not surprising.
So it went to a tie-break: how many jurors put the Alpine first, versus how many put the Jaguar first. The Jaguar took it 18-16.
No complaints here. I’d had my preference the other way around, but put the Jaguar and Alpine streets ahead of the rest (Citroën C5 Aircross, Ford Focus, Kia Ceed, Mercedes-Benz A-Class and Peugeot 508).
Car of the Year considers technical innovation and value for money of primary importance, and sometimes the award errs towards the latter.
But not this year: the two cars that offer something genuinely class-leading and break new ground in their respective classes were top of the pile. Spot on.