BMW 2 Active, Citroen Cactus Among Finalists for 2015 European Car Of The Year

Awards season continues with the shortlist for the 2015 European Car of the Year, and several talked-about new cars made the cut.

Most controversial may be the BMW 2-Series Active Tourer, the first front-wheel drive car to wear the roundel, as well as the first MPV the company has produced. Never mind what the enthusiasts think, it’s been fairly well reviewed. It does, however, go up against the similarly practical second-generation Nissan Qashqai, which is less expensive and a bit more mainstream.

Two cheap and small French cars made the list, too. The funky and air-bumpy Citroen C4 Cactus and rear-engined Renault Twingo, both shown at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, got the nod for novel features and packaging. Given the European COTY jury’s tendency to go for small, inexpensive cars (Renault’s own Clio is a two-time winner), this could be a match to watch.

Large sedans are also in a two-way contest. The new Ford Mondeo and Volkswagen Passat made the shortlist. Both are smothered in advanced technologies – the Mondeo is now available as a hybrid and the Passat gets a TFT instrument panel – and more attention to detail in an effort to make them more upscale and less fleet manager in status.

But the redesigned Mercedes-Benz C-Class stands as the most upscale competitor. And this fourth-generation C is a significant departure from the model it replaces, with a host of new technologies. 

The ECOTY jury has never particularly favored expensive cars, though, so I’d rule against the Mercedes winning. The Qashqai didn’t make the top three when it was first launched and this new model competes with a number of other crossovers now. And while the Mondeo and Passat are probably very good, they’re less important for their makers now that the sedan market has eroded so severely in Europe.

I’d watch the race between the Citroen and Renault, though. But who knows where the first front-wheel drive BMW will end up.

Oh, and if you want to see all of the winners of the European Car of the Year award, Autocar put together a whole list. And there are certainly some forgotten cars on it.

Photo gallery

Amazon Places Order For 100,000 Electric Delivery Vans From Rivian

The first Amazon-branded electric vans from Rivian will enter service in 2021 .

Tuscan Sun Rolls-Royce Cullinan Is Pure Wealth On Wheels

Aside from its Tuscan Sun exterior, this Rolls-Royce Cullinan features a dual-tone Dark Spice and Tan interior.

Genesis G70, BMW 7-Series And Others Awarded For Their Infotainment Systems

Kia and Hyundai took top honors in four out of a possible eight vehicle segments.

B&B-Tuned VW Beetle Convertible Has 380 PS, Hits 62 MPH In 5.2 Sec

It will cost you almost €10,000 to get B&B’s Stage 4 kit for the Beetle Cabrio 2.0 TSI.

Fiat Chrysler Planning To Test Vehicle-To-Grid Technology In Italy

FCA is joining forces with Terna for an innovative technology laboratory able to trial various electric mobility services.

France-Only Dacia Duster Black Collector Edition Goes On Sale Exclusively Online

The Duster Black Collector will be built in a limited run of 500 units solely for the French market and is priced at €19,490.

Toyota Boss Suggests Lexus Could Take To The Skies, Start Making Jets

Akio Toyoda has suggested Lexus could join Honda in the world of exclusive jets.

Skoda Karoq Production Hits The 250,000-Mark In Just 2 Years

Finished in black and powered by the 1.0 TSI engine, the milestone car was manufactured at Skoda’s Mlada Boleslav plant.

VW And Porsche Recalling 227,000 Cars Over Seatbelt And Airbag Issues

VW and Porsche have airbags and seatbelt pre-tensioners that may triggered incorrectly.

Tesla Says Model S Plaid Could Record 7:05 Nurburgring Lap Next Month

Tesla isn’t satisfied with the Model S Plaid prototype’s 7:20 ‘Ring time and thinks it can shave of a whole 15 seconds.