John Simister (United Kingdom)

My judgement is based on following grounds:

Alfa Romeo Giulia

There are cars in the Giulia`s class that might be better at the things that matter to the modern, superficial consumer – connectivity, autonomy, soft-touch interior finishes – but they are forgotten in a few years. The Giulia stays in the mind as a delight to drive with invigorating responses allied to a compliant ride, some great engines and a personality absent in rivals. If you have a heart, it`s the car to own.


Citroën C3

Here is a trend-bucking design masterpiece, fresh and simple outside and inside, instantly recognisable and unlikely to date. The C3 is good value, its engines are punchy and its supple, gently lolloping ride is a welcome return to Citroën`s values. Roomy, too: no-one really needs much more car than this. You can easily imagine a C3 as part of your family.


Mercedes Clase E

It drips with technology. Its interior is impeccably designed and furnished. It makes motoring painless. It`s a car for people who would rather be somewhere else, which tries to ease the pain of having to interact with a car and a road, so it`s not for me. The ride is imperfect, too, and the design forgettable.


Nissan Micra

The Micra is trying to be a bigger, grander car shrunken to small-car size. It`s great to drive with keen handling and a good ride, albeit with less lively engines than its C3 rival offers, and it can be extremely well equipped with surprising luxury and a high price-tag to match. Those dramatically-styled looks will date, but this a great return to form for Nissan.


Peugeot 3008

The styling is a bit of a visual onslaught, and like many modern cars it will quickly date, but this generation of 3008 has a purpose and confidence the old one never had. The i-cockpit is an interesting solution to a problem that might not exist, helped by the shortcut buttons, but that tiny steering wheel in a big car makes the tidy dynamics feel oddly artificial.


Toyota C-HR

This is such a cartoon caricature of a compact SUV that I can`t help liking its visual madness, outside and in. Rear passengers inhabit claustrophobic gloom but will feel cool doing so. As a car, rather than an art installation, the C-HR is unexpectedly good fun to drive in regular form, less so as a hybrid. Either way, well done to Toyota for being brave enough to build it.


Volvo S90/V90

For me, a Car of the Year must do two things. If I see its win emblazoned on a giant advertising poster, I must feel proud to have helped put it there. And it must be able to stick in the mind enough to be remembered a decade or more later, as a significant maker of automotive history. So, like the similarly high-tech but anodyne E-class, the Volvo doesn`t do it for me.