16 March 2015

European Car Of The Year 2015

The 2015 winner! really?
When it comes to choosing the best of anything, it will inspire disagreement because we all have opinions and at times bias. I never take any note of 'Sportsman of the Year' awards. As for any parent who enters their precious little bundle in a baby competition, don't do it. Your baby is the best.

So do 'Car of the Year'  awards count for much? Not really. Unless a car is clearly better than the rest, then it comes down to opinion. Take the European 2015 award. Sixty judges and only one of them a woman. The seven finalists were a varied group and no car really stood out to me. The results were announced weeks ago.  So how would I rank them? Never short of an opinion, here goes:

7th: Renault Twingo - 124 pts.  It is hard to score a car like this. Well executed but limitations like all small city cars. Maybe a little hard done by but not a winner.

6th: BMW Active Tourer - 154 pts. It seems a competent car but bringing the BMW brand into mainstream competition. Pleasant but nothing special.

5th: Nissan Qashqai - 160 pts. This is the car I would buy here. Supremely practical and also a quality product. This is the kind of car people want and for Japanese branded vehicle (designed and built in Europe though) to sell as well as it does in Europe shows it hit a sweet spot. It was never going to win, and the score it received makes me question awards such as this.

4th: Ford Mondeo - 203 pts. In my opinion I would have it before the Passat, but the fact it was late getting released in Europe condemned it. Moving production held it up and now being a few years old wasn't ideal.

3rd: Mercedes C-Class 221 - pts. Certainly an OK car, but safety first as MB are clearly too scared to take a risk with such an important model. The right decision for them, but that makes it not a car to win this award.

2nd: Citro├źn Cactus 248 - pts. I like it because of its styling and modern persona. It lacks the quality and class of the Qashqai though, so a worthy entrant but perhaps overachieved on the score sheet.

1st: VW Passat 340 - pts. How could this car win, and by so much! I'm not saying it isn't a nice car, as all the cars here. I think the Mondeo is better. Lucky to win, and the margin is farcical.

Summary: Every reader here will have an opinion and most will vary. My advice is to ignore the award, and view it as no more than a curiosity. Do your own homework and choose the car you like. If you are happy with the choice, then that is all that matters.

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