News : Car of the Year 2012 list revealed

Keith Adams

Range Rover Evoque is one of 35 Car of the Year 2012 candidates.
Range Rover Evoque is one of 35 Car of the Year 2012 candidates.

Thirty five cars have been nominated for the first stage of the European Car of The Year 2012 award – proof positive that the car industry continues to attempt to build itself out of the current economic crisis. The British contingent is represented by just one car this year, the Range Rover Evoque, which rides high from a series of impressive first drives. Will that be enough to help it claim overall victory?

Historic precedent would indicate that the more likely winner would be the Fiat Panda or Volkswagen Up! although following the Nissan Leaf’s landmark victory last year, perhaps one of the alternatively fuelled cars from Renault, or the range extending GM (Vauxhall) Ampera is in the running.

The full list is repeated below – and the format of the competition is that all of the contenders are new vehicles available now or before year’s end in five or more European markets, and each has the prospect of at least 5000 yearly sales (thus ruling out the MG6 based on current sales of Longbridge-built cars). The voting process has two stages. The first one will produce a short list of seven nominees, which will be announced on 9 January 2012. The second round will find the single winner that will be made known on 5 March 2012.

Good luck Land Rover!

Audi A6
Audi Q3
BMW 1-Series
BMW 6-Series
Chevrolet Aveo
Chevrolet Orlando
Citroen DS4
Citroen DS5
Fiat Panda
Ford Focus
Honda Civic
Hyundai i40
Hyundai Veloster
Kia Picanto
Kia Rio
Lancia Ypsilon
Lexus GS
Mazda CX-5
Mercedes B-class
Mercedes ML-class
Mercedes SLK
Peugeot 3008 Hybrid4
Peugeot 508
Porsche 911
Range Rover Evoque
Renault Fluence Z.E
Renault Kangoo Z.E
Ssangyong Korando
Toyota Yaris
Toyota Verso
Vauxhall Zafira Tourer
Vauxhall Ampera
Volkswagen Beetle
Volkswagen Jetta
Volkswagen Up!

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Keith Adams
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  1. Not sure that the new Panda takes things much further while the Up! looks to be a neat but quite conservative utilitarian design with lots of irrelevant electronics to add to its cost/complexity. Ssangyong – somebody’s having a larf. Hyundai/Kia deserve recognition but there isn’t a truly groundbreaking model in their list. Lancia Ypsilon – pretty car but isn’t it basically just an old Fiat Idea? Personally I would vote for the Peugeot 3008 (albeit hoping it fares better than the visually similar Fiat Croma) since I hope that eventually the market will realise the advantages of diesel hybrids. It’s also a shame that the Honda Brio cannot be on the list.

  2. A long list, but I have to say not a very inspiring one. Electronic Renaults not interesting post-Nissan Leaf, and I agree with Chris’s comments about the Hyundais and Ssangyong etc. Finding myself reluctantly opting for the 911, but my heart says come on Evoque!

  3. There are some imprssive contenders in this list such as the Citroen C4 and new Porsche 911.

    That said, I definitely wish the Range Rover Evoque the “Best of British” in stealing this coveted award from Johnny Foreigner.

  4. I’d love to see the Evoque win it but what about the Ampera? The Chevrolet Volt it is based upon is perhaps the most significant new North American car for a years.

  5. Whatever wins, it will be forgotten like last years winner, and the year before that, and the year before that, and the…

  6. The Range Rover gets my vote.
    Had a good look round on my dealer launch day, very impressed! Must now book a test drive.

  7. Rover won that award in 1977 with the 3500 SD1 and the car was not sold as much as Rover wanted!
    I am sure, if Land Rover does not win the award with the Rane Rover Evoque, they will sell it in quite good numbers!
    To win that award does not say that the car will be a success!

  8. What a depressing read. It comes to something when we’re discussing on AROnline which is the best overseas stuff around. Could this be the only website that doesn’t publicise predictable 911’s and dire Peugeot/Citroen/Lemon guff? How could a regurgitated 911 win Euro COTY Award, it’s 60 years old for crying out loud? Feels like the battle is lost- the streets are awash with soulless automotive crap, many with increasingly silly names.

    The Evoke is the only one I’d buy obviously.

  9. It’s hard to get excited about a list, when so many are new versions of existing cars. They’re all fine cars, the A6, 1 series, 911, Focus, Panda etc but only incrementally better.

    The Evoque is new and stylish, and possibly iconic, so at least should stand a chance, but may miss out to the more radical technology of the electric and hybrid vehicles.

  10. Does this mean you’d like a piece on former CoTY winners?

    The relevant ones, certainly!

    P6, SD1 and the late Mr R Axe’s work has already been done, any we’ve forgotten about?

  11. Nothing to get really excited about in the list. I hope Land Rover gets onto the short list. I take it the Chevrolet Aveo is a new car because the ones on our roads are warmed over Daewoos.

  12. Oliver – the Evoque is already sold out for the next 12 months so the award is largely irrelevant. The 3500/SD1 “failed” not because of the COTY award but purely on that state of BL at the time.

    I agree with most comments, on originality alone the Evoque should walk it. The sad fact is that the panel will choose whoever hosts the biggest junkets and freebies.

  13. Having seen it in the flesh it has the street presence to win but KeithB is probably right and the manufacturer with the best freebies will win.

    Good luck to JLR I need to renegotiate my company car which living in Germany can be difficult!

  14. Renault 9………… the car for me then and still now.

    Ha ha, sorry Mike, but that’s a perfect example of not relevant! Try RenaultOnline are something.

    The 9 should be remembered only for Roger Moore cutting one in half in A View To A Kill, or was that the 11? Same blandness…..

  15. Now don’t laugh. The CX-5!.Mazda really are being adventurous as a company and I admire the fact that they really are making their cars lighter, not by much but, at least doing it.

  16. My money is on the rather reasoned, well proportioned DS4. And its a car the man in the street can afford (just) or the new Picanto which is the thinking man’s BMC mini…

    The Range Rover Ewok does nothing the cheaper Freelander 2 doesn’t, you can’t see out the back of it either! Hardly a revelation.

    Freelander=Marina – Ewok=Ital

  17. my heart says Citroen DS5. Great looks and a beautiful, well built cabin, combined with that suberb Hybrid 4 drive train. Far better than the poorly proportioned DS4.

    my head says RR Evoque. it seems to be a superb car, even though it is substantially overpriced and its wedge shape reminds me of the TR7

  18. When you see what can be done! Surely these fast developing countries (India & China) can take other defunct British brands – Rover, Triumph, Austin – and make other success stories.
    I’m sure the history of Mini and Land Rover does not mean much to younger and foreign consumers but they sure are buying them. Why couldn’t Tata extend their range with Rover saloons and Austin superminis?

  19. i really like the evoque how good it is to live with remains to be seen,as land rovers dont have a good reputation for reliability,as for the focus it isnt as cutting edge as the original is it?

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