We arrived again this year in the squad of seven finalists of the Car of the Year 2022 award, and not without surprises. In the list issued, with a couple of months earlier than usual, by the consortium of the Award we find in fact 6 out of 7 electric cars. For the first time, electric mobility has such a large weight on the highly anticipated European award, leaving only one car, also available in an electrified version, to represent thermal cars. Are you curious about the finalists of the 2022 Car of the Year Award?
What is the Car of the Year Award and why is it so popular?
There are many awards dedicated to the automotive world: some deal with design, others with mechanics and others with value for money, and they can be global, European or national. Of all the awards in the automotive world, however, the Car of the Year Award is among the most valuable and authoritative. The reason is twofold: the Car of the Year Award is indeed one of the longest in existence, awarded since 1964; in addition, it is an acknowledgment European, therefore, an indication of the tastes and opinions of what for decades has been the most influential market in the world. Today, despite the fact that the automobile has become more global than ever, the finalists and the winner of the Car of the Year Award are still awaited with great curiosity by the entire motoring world.
Assigned by now 58 editions, the Car of the Year Award is now a real point of reference for professionals and consumers. A jury formed by 60 journalists from 23 European countries different chooses the 39 candidates first, and then selects the 7 finalists for the Car of the Year Award. Finally, at the Geneva Motor Show the Prize jury announces the winner. This year, after the second consecutive cancellation of the Geneva Motor Show, the Car of the Year Award will be awarded for the second time electronically and independently, again by the Swiss city on February 28, 2022.
The organizers are 9 authoritative magazines from as many European countries, whose flags are contained in the official logo of the event. We are talking about Auto (Italy), Autocar (United Kingdom), Autopista (Spain), Autovisie (Netherlands), L’Automobile Magazine (France), Firmenauto (Germany) and Vi Bilägare (Sweden). Each of the 23 countries brings at least one journalist, with the most influential countries such as Italy, Germany and France bringing up to 6 representatives. Each member of the jury has at his disposal 25 points to be awarded to the 7 finalists, with a maximum of 10 points for his first choice. The Golden Roll of the Car of the Year Award counts 21 manufacturers capable of winning, among which our FIAT still stands out, with 9 victories.
The seven finalists for Car of the Year 2022: six electric, 5 SUV and a single thermal
Last year it won the 2021 Car of the Year Award Toyota Yaris, able with 262 points to beat the competition of FIAT 500, second with 242 points, and CUPRA Formentor, third with 239 points. This year, however, there is no Japanese car that can repeat the success of the Little Genius. But by the way, who are the finalists for the 2022 Car of the Year Award? The list is one of the sensational ones, as it marks a real one generational change: among the 7 finalists, six are exclusively electric.
After 58 years of monopoly first and then prevalence of thermal cars, 2022 will be the first year where the most present cars will be electric. Specifically, then, we find ben 5 SUV / Crossover and 2 medium compact, 4 European, two Asian cars and one American car. The seven finalists, in fact, are:
- CUPRA Born
- Ford Mustang Mach-E
- Hyundai Ioniq 5
- KIA EV6
- Peugeot 308
- Renault Mégane E-Tech
- Skoda Enyaq iV
Let’s try to learn more about the seven finalists starting, in alphabetical order, from the Spanish CUPRA Born. This is the second presence in a row of the young Spanish brand, which last year took third place with the beautiful Formentor. Unlike the sporty SUV, however, Born is available in an exclusively version electric. The Spanish compact is based on the MEB platform of the Volkswagen Group, the platform dedicated to battery-powered cars shared with its cousin VW ID.3, a candidate last year. Compared to its German cousin, CUPRA Born wants to offer a sportier look, even more refined interiors and a sporty and fun ride with powers up to 231 HP and autonomy up to 540 km of autonomy. I tested it about a month ago in Spain, where I got to know the Spanish compact better: if you want to know more, just click here.
Let’s move on to the second of the finalists for the Car of the Year 2022, Ford Mustang Mach-E. Behind a legendary name like Mustang hides a large electric SUV, which focuses on a massive and typically Yankee look, build quality at the level of the best European rivals and a record-breaking technology. Being a Mustang, however, it cannot do without one real pony car guide, with a driving dynamics that satisfies even the less powerful versions. Thanks to powers up to 487 HP and an autonomy that can reach 610 km, Mustang Mach-E is proposed as the only electric of the family. But will it also be able to warm the hearts of us Europeans? I tried the new one in March Mustang Mach-E AWD on the track: if you want to know how it performed, click here.
I was lucky enough to also try the third of our finalists for the 2022 Car of the Year Award, Hyundai Ioniq 5. This car is one of the few electric ones that even most people like skeptics. Thanks to his retro design, which refers to the ’70s with sharp angles and square lines, but also to its distinctiveness personality. In fact, the Ioniq 5 has a lot of character both outside and inside with a very spacious cockpit and lines that are more reminiscent of those of a luxurious living room than of a car. Driving, then, thanks to Ioniq E-GMP platform 5 it is fun, and with a range of up to 481 km it is also convincing for its versatility. If you want to know how version a 218 HP rear-wheel drive and 72.6 kWh battery, here you find my first proof.
We remain in the Hyundai Group for the fourth finalist, KIA EV6. Based on the same E-GMP platform as Hyundai Ioniq 5, the EV6 tackles the issue of electrification in a completely different way. Although the mechanics are very similar, in fact, the electric KIA declines all in one sportier and more dynamic version than her cousin. The lines are much sportier and more futuristic, both inside and out, and even when driving, the KIA EV6 wants to thrill the driver with an engaging and vigorous drive, especially on the four-wheel drive versions. A 585 bhp GT version will also arrive soon, but if you want to know how the “quieter” fares 325 HP GT Line, here is my first contact.
The fifth of the finalists for the 2022 Car of the Year Award is also the only thermal car on the list: Peugeot 308. Available with petrol, diesel, plug-in hybrid engines and in 2023 also fully electric, the new 308 wants revolutionize the model that has done so much good in recent years. The new version of the French compact offers a sharper and more modern style, inspired by the 508, 3008 and the winner of the award in 2020, the little sister 208. The new 308 it loses some practicality to gain charisma, build quality and driveability. It will succeed the only surviving thermal in this 2022 a to snatch victory from electric rivals? If you want to know more, find ours here deepening.
We remain in France for the penultimate of the finalists for Car of the Year 2022, Renault Mégane E-Tech. Compared to the classic Mégane, which will still remain on the list, the new E-Tech version is a crossover, and will be fully electric. With the compact produced since 1996, there will be very few shares, and after a period of transition it will be she who will carry on the compact mediums of the French company. Based on the new platform CMF-EV, the Mégane E-Tech has a modern look that winks at SUVs, and will have a range of up to 470 km. To get to know it better, here you will find our in-depth analysis.
Finally, the seventh and final challenger is the Skoda Enyaq iV, the Czech electric SUV that focuses on versatility and practicality. Its presence on the list has del resounding, as it managed to snatch the last place from its more popular sister, the Volkswagen ID.4. Compared to his German cousin, however, Enyaq fielded one mature and reassuring line and record spaces. The trunk reaches 585 kg, while inside Enyaq is made with care, precious materials and elegance. Available with powers between 150 and 265 HP and with a maximum autonomy of 537 km, Skoda Enyaq iV is the classic outsider, however, capable of surprising for its undoubted abilities. Will she be the one to amaze everyone and win the Car of the Year title?
The winner of the 2022 Car of the Year finalists will be announced on February 28. What is your favorite?
We have thus arrived at the end of this roundup dedicated to finalists for the 2022 Car of the Year Award. In an edition that will surely be remembered for being the first in which electric cars monopolized the final, there is no clear favorite on the eve. In an eternal challenge between Europe, America and Asia, never as this year could the winner be any of the seven finalists. Therefore the appointment is fixed at February 28th next year, when the Car of the Year 2022 will be announced in live streaming. What will be the winning car? Tell us who you think will be able to snatch the trophy from the outgoing Toyota Yaris winner below in the comments!