What Car? has revealed the shortlist for its prestigious 2015 Car of the Year Award.
The shortlist comprises 26 outstanding vehicles that went on sale for the first time in 2014. The full list can be found here, but it includes the Smart Fortwo, Volkswagen Golf SV, Nissan X-Trail, Mercedes S-Class Coupe, BMW i8, Porsche Macan and the Lamborghini Huracan.
The annual What Car? Awards - held in association with Warranty Direct - are the most sought-after prizes for both car manufacturers and the car-buying public alike. What Car? experts ensure that only the cars that deliver exceptionally against stringent criteria are shortlisted.
As well as the overall Car of the Year Award, the event celebrates the very best vehicles across 16 separate caterories, as chosen by the public and What Car? industry professionals.
For 2015, individual categories are: city car, small car, family car, electric car, coupe, estate car, mpv, hot hatch, convertible, small SUV, large SUV, executive car, sports car, luxury car, reader award and a new safety award category, sponsored by the Thatcham research centre and open only to vehicles which have achieved five Euro NCAP stars and come fitted with Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB).
What Car? editor Jim Holder said: "The new car market has been bouyant in the UK during 2014 and the automotive industry in the UK has bloomed – that means there are a heap of exciting new cars that are all genuine contenders for our main COTY prize. No wonder the decision-making process around the shortlist was even more intense than usual."
Awards are only given to the cars that set the highest standards in their class and only the best is named What Car? Car of the Year. Last year, the Sunderland-built Nissan Qashqai was crowned the overall winner.
This year’s event takes place on 7 January 2015 in London.
WHAT CAR? 2015 COTY AWARD SHORT LIST
Jaguar F-type Coupe
Mercedes S-Class Coupe
Ford Mondeo Estate
Volkswagen Passat Estate
BMW 2 Series Active Tourer
Volkswagen Golf SV
Citroen C4 Cactus
Land Rover Discovery Sport
McLaren 650S Spider