TopGear.com03 March 2014

Peugeot 308 is Euro Car of the Year

French hatch sees off BMW i3, Tesla Model S and Merc S-Class for Europe’s big prize. No McLaren P1?

Peugeot 308 is European Car of the Year

The Peugeot 308 has won the European Car of the Year award. The voting announcement has become the first big event of the Geneva Show every year.

This time it was an intriguing battle between a fairly radical 'normal car', the Peugeot, and two extremely radical not-normal cars, the BMW i8 and the Tesla Model S.

But the rest of the seven-strong shortlisted collected favour too. Most years there's a lame runner or two at the back, but this time the other four cars were all close, and far from disgrace.

Here are the exact points, awarded by 56 judges from around Europe.

Peugeot 308, 307 points
BMW i3, 223
Tesla Model S, 216
Citroen C4 Picasso, 182
Mazda3, 180
Skoda Octavia, 172
Mercedes S-Class, 170

Each of the jurors has 25 points to award, and can't give more than 10 to their top choice.
TopGear's Paul Horrell is one of the jury, but he isn't there to represent TG itself. The qualities needed for a winner are subtly different, and more practical, than what would make a TG choice. The Fiesta ST, for example, wasn't up for the eCotY award. Nor was the Rolls Wraith. Nor the McLaren P1. Nor the Porsche 911 GT3...

Check out TopGear's Cars of 2013

But Car of the Year isn't just an award for petrolheads. But for what it's worth, our man Paul put the i3 first, S-Class second and the 308 second-from-bottom in his rankings.

So the bottom-place of the S-Class Mercedes in the final rankings comes as a surprise, because it's such a class leader and brings so much new safety technology to the industry. OK, it's expensive, but so's the Tesla.

The Peugeot is possibly not an overall better car than last year's CotY winner, its direct competitor the VW Golf. But it is radical in some ways, as a very chuffed Maxime Picat, Peugeot's boss, pointed out as he picked up the award: "We made radical choices. We made it very light, and we made an interior clear of buttons. The Peugeot lion is hungry again."

He also observed, "A lot has been said about Peugeot lately, but not enough of it has been about cars." He was referring to Peugeot selling a stake to Chinese firm Dongfeng, which means the Peugeot family are no longer the biggest shareholder in the company.

So with your most practical, grown-up hats on, do you agree with the learned jurors of Europe?

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