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Sebastjan Plevnjak (Slovenia)

My judgement is based on following grounds:

Alfa Romeo Giulia

If we were to select a sports car of the year, Alfa Romeo Giulia would almost certainly have been my main favourite. In its most powerful iteration, Giulia is so exciting that even the most demanding drivers will not be left indifferent! Other variants, though, are still in need of fine tuning, in order to be considered equal to German premium brands without any shame. Italian charm still does not happen to be an adequate substitute for quality.

 

Citroën C3

Two finalists in this year’s contest for the best European car speak enough that PSA concern knows what they are doing. Citroen C3 is the smallest car among all finalists and, perhaps, that very fact makes it also among the best looking. Just as Alfa cannot get away with charm, C3 cannot succeed just by being cute. A slightly more contemporary suspension and better seats already caused furore among small cars. Good looks or not, seats become less comfortable with distance and are particularly poorly suited for taller drivers.

 

Mercedes Clase E

There is definitely not enough points available for this contest. Especially for all the 7 cars that ended up as crème de la crème of Europe. However, decisions need to be made, and the new Mercedes E-Class impresses with its complete technological accomplishment. But, not so much with the shape and price. Which is logical. Stars are not for everyone and, those with enough money, will want a car of this kind even without a COTY accolade. And it would not be a wrong decision.

 

Nissan Micra

It might be unfair towards some candidates if the history and development of a car was one of the criteria, but it certainly is in this instance. Once an extremely successful product, recent Micra has been a textbook example of a conceptual crisis. Nissan is doing all it can to bring it back on the road to glory, but that is a high goal indeed. It does look quite nice, even if slightly too similar to its French counterpart. One way or another, Micra is no longer a small winning car.

 

Peugeot 3008

It is so good that I will cheekily declare it as my Car of The Year 2017! I admit it does not have the best suspension, design differences between the front and the rear section can confuse, but this car as a whole, is excellent, especially when compared to the previous generation of the same. And that is not all – after the doors open, we are welcomed by the new interior design which is excitingly impressive. And, in contrast to other brands offering something of the kind, digital instrumentation is standard on the Peugeot 3008.

 

Toyota C-HR

Over the years, we complained about the boring character of Toyota cars. As a radical change, we now have a car that could easily feature in every single science fiction movie!! Which is why younger audience may like it, but the established, loyal Toyota clientele of a certain age, might not. I have no issues with the external design. Actually, I like it. Less so the CVT gearbox which, in my view, is the weakest part of the car. Not to forget a very modest portfolio of engines.

 

Volvo S90/V90

At the launch of the new XC90, we were told how this would be a dawn of a new era for the Volvo brand. If the Series 90 is anything to go by, they were very serious, even if this is nothing but a comprehensive copy of the car which reached an impressive 2nd place in last year’s contest. Interior is almost identical and external similarities are also plain obvious. Perhaps we can say simply that Series 90 is, unjustifiably so, just a cheaper version of the XC90.