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Saturday 1st April

Europe's Car of the Year 2022 will probably be electric

Six of the seven Car of the Year finalists are full EVs. Which is your money on?

Ford Mustang Mach-E and Hyundai Ioniq 5
  • Ford Mustang Mach-E and Hyundai Ioniq 5

    The seven finalists for Car of the Year 2022 – aka European Car of the Year 2022 – have been unveiled. And six of them are fully electric, with the remaining contender a hybrid.

    Those EVs fall into two groups. Crossovers, with the Ford Mustang Mach-E, Kia EV6 and Skoda Enyaq, and hatchbacks, namely the Cupra Born, Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Renault Megane E-Tech.

    And the solitary internal combustion car? The Peugeot 308. Don’t feel sorry for it, though, nor bet against it standing atop the podium come the online announcement on 28 February 2022. The previous 308 won COTY, as did the 307 that came before it.

    So without further ado, our own glance at the cars shortlisted…

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  • Cupra Born

    Cupra Born

    “There’s a few minor hardware tweaks to try and distance the Born from the VW ID.3, including wider tyres and suspension that’s 15mm lower on the front axle and 10mm at the rear. You also get the option of the VW Group’s Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) no matter what powertrain you pick, and the traction control can be loosened into ESC Sport. 

    “Just as long as you aren’t expecting an all-electric hot hatch… With a maximum output of 228bhp and even that only available for 30 seconds at a time, it’s by no means a hardcore, performance version of the MEB skateboard setup.”

    Top Gear's Cupra Born review

  • Ford Mustang Mach-E

    Ford Mustang Mach-E

    “The most important Ford since the Mondeo? The Model T? Probably somewhere between the two in terms of what it means to the brand and its future. As crucial as the original Mustang, then – another car that kick-started the blue oval and launched it into a new and exciting future.

    “Just don’t be misled by the badge. This is not a Mustang as we know it, and to think of it as one is misleading. It’s an electric crossover. And it’s a good one.”

    Top Gear’s Ford Mustang Mach-E review

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  • Hyundai Ioniq 5

    Hyundai Ioniq 5

    “That Hyundai is now confident enough to put a car as bold-looking as the Ioniq 5 on sale is impressive. But the fact this retro XXL hot hatch bodywork conceals one of the most complete family EVs money can buy is downright remarkable. 

    “If Hyundai can maintain this momentum behind the upcoming members of the Ioniq family, then the likes of VW’s ID cars and even Mercedes’s EQ clan ought to be extremely worried.”

    Top Gear's Hyundai Ioniq 5 review

  • Kia EV6

    Kia EV6

    "Distinctive yet not likely to immediately fall off a fashion cliff, interesting to drive but not likely to worry a dedicated sports car, the EV6 carves a very different path dynamically to the Hyundai Ioniq 5 with which it shares bones and blood. And that’s no bad thing.

    "Yes, this is not a small car on a typical British B-road - or anywhere else for that matter - but no worse than most higher-riding SUVs. It’s impossible to ignore the fact that this is a well-judged, rounded, interesting and satisfying car from Kia. And it puts other manufacturers on notice; ‘good enough’ won’t cut it."

    Top Gear’s Kia EV6 review

  • Peugeot 308

    Peugeot 308

    “The 308 lands in a class that is absolutely rammed with talent, endless possibilities and where deals can be done even in chip-limited times.

    “Peugeot has rolled the dice on design, inside and out, which might deter the more conservative elements of the customer base. The rest of us should applaud this refreshingly emboldened approach, but on top of that there’s quality of execution, lots of tech, and more than competent dynamics. The Hybrid 180, in particular, ticks most of the boxes.”

    Top Gear's Peugeot 308 review

  • Renault Megane E-Tech

    Renault Megane E-Tech

    “This Renault is fun to drive, so you might be tempted into range-blunting speeds that negate the car's clever efficiency measures. Go sensibly though and the range compromise is enough for most.

    “As for the non-electric parts of it, the Megane is conventionally desirable and has a handsome, well-finished and easy-to-use cabin. It’s a car for people who know and like 'normal' cars. You'll find little of the bare design or eccentricity that mark out the BMW i3 or Nissan Leaf as 'pioneers'.”

    Top Gear's Renault Megane E-Tech review

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  • Skoda Enyaq IV

    Skoda Enyaq IV

    "The first purpose-built Skoda electric car nails the brief. It’s an incredibly convincing alternative to the Volkswagen ID.4.

    “Yep, once more Skoda has built a car that could well be a better buy than its VW equivalent. On first impressions the Enyaq edges its cousin on several fronts. Its interior is much less annoying than the ID.4’s, chiefly because it has fewer of those infuriating touch-sensitive buttons and sliders. ”

    Top Gear's Skoda Enyaq IV review

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