Seven make the shortlist for car of the year 2015

European car of the year finalists are: BMW’s 2 Series Active Tourer; Citroen’s C4 Cactus; the Ford Mondeo; Mercedes-Benz C-Class; Nissan Qashqai; Renault Twingo; and the Volkswagen Passat

 

The shortlist for this year’s Car of the year 2015 has been announced. Making thefinal cut are: BMW’s 2 Series Active Tourer; Citroen’s C4 Cactus; the Ford Mondeo; Mercedes-Benz C-Class; Nissan Qashqai; Renault Twingo; and the Volkswagen Passat.

The seven were selected from 31 candidate new cars launched in the last year.

This year’s competition promises some interesting battles, with the run-off between the Ford Mondeo and VW Passat certain to feature heavily in the debate amongst jury members. The winner of that debate will no doubt then have to face up to a comparison with the new Mercedes C-Class.

The Nissan Qashqai has picked up several national accolades already and is also likely to be a favourite to take the title for 2015.

The inclusion of BMW’s new 2 Series Active Tourer will go down well in Munich, as this is the brand’s first front-wheel-drive model, something that was regarded by some as a risky move given the car firm’s long association with the rear-wheel-drive format. In a similar vein Citroen’s family-friendly C4 Cactus has won plaudits for its funky styling and its well-executed balance between honouring the French firm’s heritage and embracing modern technology and styling trends.

There’s more good news for France with the inclusion of the Renault Twingo on the list. It has been one of the big surprises of the year, a small, stylish and fun car to drive. It’s not going to be a big seller in Ireland but it’s proving a hit amongst urban motorists on the continent.

The overall winner of the prestigious international prize will be announced on the eve of the Geneva motor show on Monday, March 2nd. Unlike many other car awards the votes of the European car of the year are published along with justifications from each jury member, so the public can see how each jury member voted and why.