The list containing the finalists of the crucial 016 European Car of the Year contest is finally out and we can take a second look now at the last remaining seven models that will battle for the title.
This summer when the nominees were initially announced the list was heavy and spread over a total of 40 autos, but since the jury has done its homework and decided to narrow the shopping list to seven finalists: Audi A4, BMW 7 Series, Jaguar XE, Mazda MX-5, Opel Astra, Skoda Superb and the Volvo XC90. We’re looking here at a list that definitely favors the contenders coming from the premium/luxury segment, with the most interesting entry actually being the Mazda MX-5. We dig the massive practicality of the latest generation Skoda Superb and understand the Opel/Vauxhall Astra (actually any compact car that is launched during the span of the voting) will always have a place reserved in the final. But we also salute the addition of the iconic MX-5 Miata that has practically reinvented itself while also looking back to its roots and delivering a contemporary look. We’re not really pitting the betting pool on these three however – the Astra only lost some pounds, the MX-5 is a niche offering and the Superb is still the poor man’s executive sedan.
Instead, the jury will most likely make up their minds when looking at the premium contenders. The new A4 is better than its predecessor in every single respect – save for design. The BMW 7 Series is pitting itself as the high-tech marvel of the class once more and the Volvo XC90 comes with a classy and elegant design and Swedish-inspired premiumness. The German players might also want to pay attention to the Jaguar XE, a midsize sedan that comes with an advanced aluminum-intensive architecture.