The European Car of the Year (ECOTY) award was created by Fred van der Blugt in 1964 to highlight the most outstanding new vehicle in Europe. Since its inception 50 years ago, a panel of jurists from a variety of European automotive publications convene annually to pick their Car of the Year.
A list of 32 contenders for the 2015 award will be pruned down to seven nominees by December 15, followed by an announcement of the winner on March 2 at the Geneva Motor Show.
For the 2015 award, the 32 candidates include: Audi TT; BMW 2 Series Active Tourer and 2 Series Coupe, i8 and X4; Citroën C1 and C4 Cactus; Fiat 500X; Ford EcoSport and Mondeo; Hyundai i20; Infiniti Q50; Jeep Renegade; Kia Soul; Lexus NX and RC; Mercedes-Benz C-Class, GLA and S-Class Coupe; Mini Cooper; Nissan Pulsar, Qashqai and X-Trail; Opel Corsa; Peugeot 108; Porsche Macan; Renault Twingo; Skoda Fabia; Smart Fortwo and Forfour; Subaru WRX STI; Suzuki Celerio; Toyota Aygo and Volkswagen Passat.
In its 50-year history, the jury has never named a sport-ute or crossover into the top three, leaving the Fiat 500X, Nissan Qashqa, Nissan X-Trail, Jeep Renegade, Porsche Macan and Mercedes GLA at a severe disadvantage.
Previous winners include the Peugeot 308, Volkswagen Golf, Chevrolet Volt/Opel Ampera, Nissan Leaf, and Volkswagen Polo.