The final of the European Car of the Year 2024 will be about electric cars, although some contenders also offer an internal combustion engine. But it doesn’t matter, everyone will still be interested in how the representative from China will do.

For 55 years, motoring experts have gathered every year to tell the public which European car is the best of them all. The COTY European Car of the Year poll has been running continuously since 1968 and is definitely not about just one winner.

It shows the ongoing development of the automotive industry as well as new trends. Last Thursday, a 55-member jury from 22 countries received the list of nominated cars, each of which selected the seven best cars. The key event for judging was the test drives in Denmark. The following seven finalists emerged by a simple sum of votes.

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Alphabetically, the first on the list is the BMW 5 Series. That’s no surprise. BMW took special care of the five and stuffed it with all the goodies it had at hand. In many ways, it is not necessary to reach for the more expensive 7 series. In addition, the executive sedan is also available in a fully electric version.

Much discussed is the Byd Seal, the first Chinese car to make it to the finals in COTY. On the test day, the jury praised the driving characteristics, realistic long range, high-quality workshop processing and technical maturity. It shows that Chinese cars are already reaching the European level and are full-fledged competitors of domestic brands. Byd is also a strong player. This year, it defeated Tesla to become the largest seller of electric cars in the world. It even manufactures its own batteries and semiconductors, making it largely self-sufficient and independent.

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The Kia EV9 is the Korean brand’s largest electric car in the popular SUV segment. It will be the first car of the brand to offer automatic authorization when charging, as the chips are a relic. As one of the few of its kind, it can be ordered with three rows of seats and its range after homologation is greater than expected.

The Peugeot 3008 is probably the most important novelty of the French brand. For the first time, the completely modified model has an SUV-coupe type body and the most technically advanced form of the interior in the spirit of the i-cockpit. Although the electric version is to play the primary role in Europe, in less electrified markets, including the Czech Republic, it will also be available with an internal combustion engine.

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The new Scenic is equally important for Renault. The latter moved from the MPV segment to SUVs. You can only buy it as an electric car. As a family carriage, it has a high level of digitization and practicality. After all, we can find storage spaces with a volume of 38.7 liters all over the car, and another 545 or 1670 liters can fit in the trunk. For long-distance journeys, the range of the 87kWh battery corresponds to 620 km.

The second generation Toyota C-HR comes as a full-hybrid and will also arrive as a plug-in hybrid. Even though it’s not in dealers yet, people are taking the dealer by storm and signing orders. An interesting feature is the high proportion of private clientele. Local production in Turkey promises timely deliveries. At first glance, the C-HR is attractive with a great design, the interior is well made, but above all, it is great to drive.

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Similarly, interested parties are attacking Volvo dealers with the EX30, the brand’s smallest electric SUV. Because of this, Volvo had to strengthen the Chinese production with additional production in Belgium. In addition, it is also the fastest. Its pair of electric motors with a total output of 315 kW will shoot it to 100 km/h in 3.6 seconds.

We will find out who ultimately wins the poll on February 26, 2024, that is, on the eve of the opening of the Geneva Motor Show. But this will be preceded by the second test day on the CERAM track in Mortefontaine near Paris.