RAC Cars News


Peugeot 308 Named European Car of the Year 2014

By raccars Published

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Peugeot's small family car won 307 points from the 58 automotive journalists making up the international judging panel in the competition, beating out the BMW i3, Mazda3, Skoda Octavia and the Citroen C4 Picasso.

Peugeot has expanded considerable effort to give the 308 a better fit and finish and a more premium feel, and it seems its labours have paid off. Twenty two of the international jury awarded the maximum 10 points possible to the hatchback, with the competition results announced the day before the Geneva Motor Show opened. The 308 has been available on the continent since September last year but only reached the UK market this January, priced from £14,495-£24,345. Nonetheless, 4,000 orders have been placed. The 308 is due to be opened up to the Chinese market early next year.

The original hatchback shape will be joined by a 308 SW estate version this spring, both cars featuring Peugeot's current design language as seen on the 208 and 508. It also demonstrates a new numbering system for the brand's model range, which now uses fixed digits – mainstream range cars are suffixed 8 and those developed for the emerging markets use the suffix 1, the 301 for example.

There were seven vehicles on the competition shortlist, with results awarded as follows: 223 points for the BMW i3, 216 for the Tesla S, 182 for the Citroen C4 Picasso, 180 for the Mazda3, 172 for the Skoda Octavia and 170 for the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, making the Peugeot 308 the runaway winner. These seven were chosen from an initial 32 strong long list, with seven major automotive publications making up the international judging panel, spanning 23 countries. Six of the jurors are from the UK. Of the cars under consideration, those that failed to make the shortlist included the Hyundai i10, Ford Kuga, BMW X5, Jaguar F-Type, Kia Carens and the BMW 4 Series.

To be eligible to enter the competition, vehicles must have been available to buy in a minimum of five European countries at the end of 2013 and sales predictions must be at least 5,000 units annually. Previous trophy winners include the VW Golf last year, Vauxhall Ampera in 2012, the Nissan Leaf in 2011 and the VW Polo in 2010.

The inaugural CoTY prize was given to the Rover 2000 in 1964 the last model from the brand before its Leyland days. The 2000 was a winner thanks to its sparkling handling and ride quality.

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