The initial list includes cars from 23 different manufacturers. BMW heads the list with four vehicles in the running (2 Series Active Tourer and Coupe, i8, and X4). Mercedes-Benz (C-Class, GLA-Class and S-Class Coupe) and Nissan (Pulsar, Qashqai and X-Trail) have three cars on the list, while Citroen (C1 and C4 Cactus), Ford (EcoSport and Mondeo), Lexus (NX and RC) and Smart (Fortwo and Forfour) each have two.
German manufacturers dominate the list, with 13 models nominated for this year’s award. Japan is also well represented with nine vehicles, ahead of France (four), US (three), South Korea (two), and England, Italy and the Czech Republic with one each.
Among the contenders are two cars that are yet to be revealed, the Fiat 500X and the new Hyundai i20.
To be eligible, vehicles need to be on sale before the end of the year in five or more European countries and have projected annual sales of at least 5000 units.
A seven-vehicle shortlist will be announced on December 15 before a single winner is announced on the eve of the 2015 Geneva motor show on March 2.
Recent winners include the Volkswagen Golf (2013), Opel Ampera/Chevrolet Volt (2012), Nissan Leaf (2011), Volkswagen Polo (2010) and the Opel/Vauxhall Insignia (2009).
2014 European Car of the Year nominees:
BMW 2 Series Active Tourer
BMW 2 Series Coupe
Citroen C4 Cactus
Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe
Subaru WRX STI