The European Car of the Year award is one of the most important – and prestigious – in the automotive world. Given annually to the 'best' car in any year, the award (often abbreviated to 'COTY') is announced on the eve of the Geneva Motor Show.
This year's winner has been announced as the Peugeot 3008, a stylish and spacious French SUV. We think it has one of the best interiors of any family car – it's arguably Peugeot's best model, and certainly challenges the Nissan Qashqai and Seat Ateca in the small SUV segment.
For our full review of the Car of the Year winner, click here.
In second place is the Alfa Romeo Giulia. This stylish saloon represents a return to form for the Italian manufacturer – after a prolonged period of relative inactivity, this legendary brand is long overdue a new model. While the Giulia failed to win the top spot, we expect this BMW 3 Series rival to become a popular addition to British roads.
For our full review of the Alfa Romeo Giulia, click here.
In third place is the Mercedes E-class. This is one of our favourite cars, a safe, practical and (above all) comfortable chariot, destined to fill driveways and airport taxi ranks across Europe. As well as the saloon, we're particularly impressed with the E-class estate, the E-class All-Terrain 4x4 estate, and the upcoming convertible, set to be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show.
For our full review of the Mercedes-Benz E-class, click here.
How is the European Car of the Year winner chosen?
A shortlist of seven cars was created during 2016, representing the very best of all new and upcoming cars. A panel of judges, consisting of motoring journalists from across Europe, meet up to drive the cars, assess them, and then vote. Our own motoring correspondent, Andrew English, is a member of this panel, and has given us his insight here.
The Car of the Year award is more than half a century old, and charting the winners of this prize gives us a curious cross-section of automotive history. We've put together a gallery of every winner since the first COTY award was given back in 1964.
For all the latest news, advice and reviews from Telegraph Cars, sign up to our weekly newsletter by entering your email here