It may come as a surprise that BMW has yet to win the prestigious European Car of the Year Award. It seems particularly remarkable given the brand’s high quality and kudos, which makes it a frequent choice for our car finance customers.
A look at the 33-car long list for the 2015 award reveals four BMW cars – the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer, the BMW 2 Series Coupe, the BMW i8, and the BMW X1.
That’s more than any other car manufacturer, including Mercedes-Benz with three models, the C-Class, GLA-Class and the S-Class, and Nissan with the Pulsar, Qashqai and X-Trail.
Why hasn’t BMW succeeded in topping the list in the award’s 51 year history? After all, the judges are leading motoring journalists, so they should know quality when they see it.
One reason may be the criteria that are used to select the shortlist and ultimately the winner. As well as economy, safety, enjoyment, innovation and excitement, the judges have to consider affordability and value for money.
This explains why cars such as the Volkswagen Golf and the Peugeot 308, winners of the 2013 and 2014 awards respectively, have trumped many acclaimed but higher-end car brands.
When the winner is revealed at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2015, will it finally be BMW’s year? One or more of the four BMWs must first make it into the shortlist of 12 finalists, to be announced in December. We’ll be certainly be watching closely.