Car of year shortlist chosen
The shortlist for European Car of the Year has been chosen and
all are strong contenders to win the title next month. They include three
upmarket medium-sized saloons (Alfa Romeo 159, BMW 3-series and Volkswagen
Passat), the replacements for two popular superminis (Renault Clio, Toyota
Yaris), one compact MPV (Mazda5), and a trio of £7,000 economy cars made by
the Toyota-Peugeot-CitroŽn joint venture in Slovakia - the CitroŽn
C1/Peugeot 107/Toyota Aygo.
The coveted award, which is as lucrative for the winning car
manufacturer as the Man Booker prize is for the chosen author, is decided by
a panel of 58 motoring writers from 22 countries.
Each finalist has its devotees. Previous generations of the Clio
and Yaris were voted Car of the Year, but in the 42 years of the contest
there has never been a repeat win.
If the C1, 107 and Aygo were to come out on top it would mean
three car companies could claim the title. The jury decided the cars must be
judged as one entry since they are mechanically identical, have the same
driving characteristics and sell at more or less the same price.
Toyota and Peugeot-CitroŽn do not seek to disguise the
connection: the cars were first presented at a joint event in March.
The Sunday Times money is on the BMW 3-series although we didn't
hear it from the president of the jury, Ray Hutton, who writes for us.
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