To be eligible, a vehicle has to be a new vehicle in the year of voting or available before the end of that year, in at least five or more European markets. That explains some of the more unusual choices on the list, like the next-gen Audi TT and the new Smart ForTwo, which aren't actually on sale now but will be in 2015. It's an eclectic list, covering everything from city cars to luxury vehicles, and traditionally it's been humbler, more practical choices that have taken the title.
Last year's victor, for instance, was the Peugeot 308—a Ford Focus-sized compact car that drew praise for its handsome design and focus on light weight. VW's seventh-generation Golf won in 2013, and the previous two years' winners were the Opel Ampera/Chevrolet Volt, and the Nissan Leaf. BMW will be hoping to overcome its disappointment from 2014 where its i3 electric vehicle lost out to the Peugeot—its i8 sports car is eligible this year.
Based on previous winners there are a few cars almost certain to make the final few nominations—the unusual Citroen C4 Cactus for instance, and the Renault Twingo, while the highly-regarded Nissan Qashqai crossover is also in with a chance. A short-list of seven nominees will be announced on December 15, while the victor will be revealed on March 2, 2015—the day before the 2015 Geneva Motor Show opens its doors.
Hit the next page to see the full list of nominees.