One of these will be Car of the Year 2023

Volkswagen ID. Buzz on production line in Hannover, Germany - Reuters/Fabian Bimmer
Volkswagen ID. Buzz on production line in Hannover, Germany - Reuters/Fabian Bimmer

Five family SUVs and a couple of outliers make up next year’s European Car of the Year (Coty) shortlist, with the list comprising the Jeep Avenger, Kia Niro, Nissan Ariya, Peugeot 408, Renault Austral, Toyota bZ4X (and its sister vehicle the Subaru Solterra) and Volkswagen’s ID. Buzz.

With the entire contest pulled forward by two months because of the demise of the season-opening Geneva motor show where the award was presented in recent years, the 61 European jurors across 23 European countries have been frantically catching up with new models.

Supply shortages of components such as semiconductors and other electrical components have meant that many hopefuls have failed the eligibility criteria of being in series production, commercially available across at least five European countries and able to have been driven by the majority of jurors in the judging year.

Other notable no-shows in the shortlist include Land Rover’s new Range Rover and Range Rover Sport, the BMW iX SUV, new Honda Civic hybrid and a number of the new Chinese manufacturers such as BYD, Ora and Great Wall.

The shortlist will now be pored over and all the cars extensively driven, including for the British judges at Silverstone and then in Belgium, before the coveted prize is awarded on the opening day of the Brussels motor show on 13 January.

All seven shortlisted cars are listed below, with links to our review of each.

Jeep Avenger

Stellantis boss Carlos Tavares and Jeep Avenger at the Paris show in October 2022 - Nathan Laine/Bloomberg
Stellantis boss Carlos Tavares and Jeep Avenger at the Paris show in October 2022 - Nathan Laine/Bloomberg

I've driven the first all-electric Jeep but driving impressions are under embargo to 28 November, so look out for our full review next week.

Kia Niro

Kia Niro EV (2022)
Kia Niro EV (2022)

Electric regular hybrid and plug-in hybrid drivetrains for this second genearion of the Niro that's larger and even more SUV-like than before.

Read our review of the Kia Niro Hybrid here.

Nissan Ariya

Nissan Ariya (2022)
Nissan Ariya (2022)

This striking electric family SUV has been a long time coming, potentially offering a gift to very accomplished rivals. Has it been worth the wait?

Read our review of the Nissan Ariya here.

Peugeot 408

Peugeot 408 (2022)
Peugeot 408 (2022)

Available with petrol or plug-in hybrid drivetrains, the new large Peugeot looks great but is perhaps not sufficeiently accomplished to lure buyers out of SUVs.

Read our review of the Peugeot 408 here.

Renault Austral

Renault Austral (2022)
Renault Austral (2022)

This family SUV replaces the Kadjar. The UK wil only get the acclaimed E-Tech hybrid powertrain, although other markets will have a wider choice.

Toyota bZ4X

Toyota bZ4X
Toyota bZ4X

The Japanese giant's first purely battery-powered car is an SUv. Also available in some markets as the Subaru Solterra.

Read our review of the Toyota bZ4X here.

Volkswagen ID. Buzz

VW ID. Buzz (2022)
VW ID. Buzz (2022)

The eagerly awaited vehicle that everyone thinks is a camper van but isn't - that version of this minibus or panel van arrives in a couple of years.

Read our review of the Volkswagen ID. Buzz here.

2023 European Car of the Year logo
2023 European Car of the Year logo