The French hatchback won points for its 'exceptional choice of powertrains'.
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The new Peugeot 208 has beat out six other finalists to claim Europe's Car of the Year title for 2020.

The French marque’s hatchback finished with 281 points, 39 ahead of the runner-up, Tesla’s Model 3, which claimed 242 points.

The award was presented behind closed doors at the Palexpo convention centre in Geneva following the cancellation of the 2020 Geneva Motor Show over concerns around the spread of coronavirus.

In the end, judges said it was the 208’s “exceptional choice of powertrains” that separated it from its competitors, offering an all-electric option alongside its petrol and diesel variants.

Although not present at the ceremony, Peugeot’s brand director, Jean-Philippe Imparato, accepted the award via video conference.

"We are delighted that the Peugeot 208 has been honoured ‘Car of the Year’,” Mr Imparato said. “It's fantastic to be recognised by a jury of experts like the Car of the Year jury".

The new-generation Peugeot 208 is likely to be available in Australia this year, with Ben Farlow, managing director for Peugeot Citroen Australia, previously telling CarAdvice its local launch would be “shortly after” its European sales launch.

However, its arrival Down Under, and whether or not Australia would receive the electric powertrain, is yet to be confirmed.

The other finalists’ scores included the Porsche Taycan on 222 points, the Renault Clio on 211 points, the Ford Puma on 209 points, the Toyota Corolla on 152 points and the BMW 1 Series on 133 points.

The European Car of the Year is voted on by 58 journalists from seven major magazines across Europe: Autocar in the UK, Autopista in Spain, Autovisie in the Netherlands, L'Automobile Magazine in France, Stern in Germany and Vi Bilägare in Sweden.

This year marks the sixth time a Peugeot car has claimed the title, last winning the award in 2017 with its 3008 SUV.

Last year’s winner was the Jaguar I-Pace, an all-electric SUV, which scored 250 points.