2017 European Car of the Year winner named

Like any prize that’s decided by a large international jury, the European Car of the Year verdict is usually going to be controversial.

Take 2017’s winner - the Peugeot 3008 - for example. Was it really the best new car launched during the past twelve months? Was it even the best new car on the award’s shortlist?

Peugeot 3008 (2017) Front Side

Well, the answer to both questions is ‘yes’ according to the fifty-eight motoring journalists who got to vote. However, the final result certainly wasn’t clear-cut, because the arguably more deserving Alfa Romeo Giulia ended up a close second.

Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio (2016) Front Side 2

Maybe jurors were simply trying to reflect current buying trends? After all, plenty of customers are switching away from mundane hatchbacks to mini-SUVs. They want the extra practicality, a higher driving position and quasi-macho styling. That the 3008 isn’t offered with an all-wheel drive option won’t bother them much, either.

2017 European Car of the Year - Final Results
1 Peugeot 3008 319 points
2 Alfa Romeo Giulia 296 points
3 Mercedes-Benz E-Class 197 points
4 Volvo S90 / V90 172 points
5 Citroën C3 166 points
6 Toyota C-HR 165 points
7 Nissan Micra 135 points

Perhaps predictably, a review of the final ballot reveals some apparent partisan bias (whether intentional or not). This is ably illustrated by the national scores for France, Germany and Italy. With six representatives each on the jury, these three countries could separately allocate a total of 150 points.

France’s top three cars were the Peugeot (45 points, or 30% of those available), Alfa Romeo (35 / 23%) and Citroën (25 / 17%). The Mercedes-Benz earned just 13 points.

Germany’s delegation tried to redress that situation by giving victory to the E-Class (37 points / 25%). The Giulia (34 / 23%) and 3008 (30 / 20%) took second and third spots respectively.

Unsurprisingly, Italy’s tally bestowed first place upon the Alfa Romeo (43 / 29%), while the Peugeot (37 / 25%) was runner-up. None of the remaining five contenders achieved more than 17 points apiece.

In striking contrast, an absence of any British-built cars meant the six UK representatives weren’t able to show any patriotic favouritism. Their combined marks had the E-Class in top spot (36 / 24%), the Alfa Romeo in second (31 / 21%) and the Nissan in third (25 / 17%). Tellingly, the Peugeot achieved a lowly fifth position with only 15 points.

So, if there’s one conclusion to be drawn, it’s that the European Car of the Year award shouldn’t be taken too seriously.

Related posts:
2017 European Car of the Year nominees
2016 European Car of the Year winner named

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