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Vadim Ovsiankin (Russia)

My judgement is based on following grounds:

Alfa Romeo Giulia

One of the best car to drive between all finalist. The diesel version finally gives Alfa a class-competitive, if maybe not quite class-topping, fleet saloon and the Quadrifoglio is downright spectacular. Alfa is back in the game. Giulia was made for those who love cars and driving, it’s at the top of its class. The Quadrifoglio is the headline version of the all-important Giulia saloon and standard-bearer for Alfa’s new philosophy in taking on the likes of Audi, BMW and Mercedes. We can only regret that the Giulia will not be in Russia.

 

Citroën C3

Citroën has, in effect, announced a bolder design language for its small cars, a design lexicon of new C3 normally associated with SUVs... The ride turns noisy and quite crashy over sharper edges, although wheel control is never bad enough to allow tyres to part company with asphalt at normal speeds. The C3’s substance remains somewhat disappointing in the key areas of passenger space, the quality of the cabin materials, infotainment usability and ride and handling sophistication.

 

Mercedes Clase E

Mercedes seem to be returning to form with comfortable elegant cars that prioritise comfort and refinement over absolute handling. Despite the space inside this fifth-generation E-Class is actually now narrower and shorter too, showing how Mercedes has cleverly optimised the layout inside to maximise passenger room and comfort. You could get out of it after a long trip and to feel yourself as fresh as you got in, thanks to the new Drive Pilot enhanced adaptive cruise functions. This is now a car more clearly defined as a luxury item than ever it has been before. We can only regret that it is the only car manufacture among the finalists, which was not represented by MB team during COTY tests.

 

Nissan Micra

Another surprise among the finalists - new Nissan Micra. The new fifth-generation Micra is built on an updated version of the same ‘V-platform’ that underpinned the last version but has undergone radical change under the skin. On of the best ride and handling car in class with interesting technologies like Trace control system. Unfortunately, Micra is one of finalists which are not represented in the Russian market.

 

Peugeot 3008

The Peugeot 3008 is now better than ever, and is up there with the best cars in the crossover class. Surprisingly 3008 is amazing car for long distance driving. That’s thanks to its top-notch interior, up-to-date in-car tech, refined drive and competitive with low fuel consumption engine range. A special thanks for 220 mm ground clearance, perfect traction system and Grip control system. Yes, FWD is well for Dakar and is not enough for Russian roads. We need 4X4.

 

Toyota C-HR

Toyota has built a genuinely interesting and engaging vehicle, the C-HR is certainly a breath of fresh air in the rather staid family crossover segment. C-HR well equipped in standard version with an emphasis on safety and technology. 1.8 Hybrid & 1.2 turbo versions are just ones we tested and it’s too boring for this new TNGA platform. Waiting for 2.0.

 

Volvo S90/V90

Volvo wants to big strong against German brands. Built on the same SPA (Scaleable Product Architecture) platform as the impressive XC90, the S90 and V90 twins are the latest attempts to win. The real strengths of Volvo’s offering are that cruising refinement and, as is often the case with the Swedish brand, the amount of safety kit on board. There are refined diesel engine and plenty of standard kit. The V90 Cross Country D5 - one of the best, the premium crossover-estate is a very appealing proposition.