The Geneva International Motor Show will open its doors for the eighty-fourth time in over 100 years of history in March 2014. During the festivities, a panel of 58 auto journalists from 22 different countries will choose a Car of the Year. To qualify, the car had to be launched in 2013 and sell over 5,000 units on the year. Of the 30 entrants that qualified, the judges narrowed down the list to 7 automobiles.
At a glance, the list is Euro-centric and skewed toward fuel economy and performance in a stylish package. From the finalists, judges will choose from two electric vehicles as well as family-friendly autos and performance cars. The jury will test each automobile over the course of several weeks leading up the announcement of the winner. Here are the seven cars vying for Car of the Year honors at the Geneva International Motor Show of 2014.
1. Peugeot 308
What does a Peugeot 308 have that other 2013 debuts don’t? On top of the slick front grille and chrome trim, the different 308 models — such as the 308 CC pictured — are lighter and more responsive than previous iterations from the automaker. As a result, reviewers are giving Peugeot very high marks for what is a fun-to-drive vehicle with low emissions, considering the zip available in its three engine options.
Diesel models are arriving later in 2014 to compliment the gasoline-powered vehicles that have earned Peugeot a place in the final circle. If the 308 wins, it will put the spotlight on an automaker that has been all but forgotten in the United States. The competition is stiff.