Car of the Year 2014 shortlist announced

Out of the seven finalists, three are sold in Perrys dealerships throughout the UK. The three Perrys-associated models are the Citroen C4 Picasso, Mazda3 and the Peugeot 308.

The models will be subjected to specific tests near Paris next February, before the final vote takes place. The winner of the Car of the Year 2014 accolade will be announced at the Geneva Motor Show on March 3rd 2014.

CAR magazine editor Phil McNamara, commented: "It’s a good shortlist, reflecting the breadth of great cars the industry is producing," while mentioning the "strong C-segment cars from mainstream car makers".

First up on the nominee list is the Citroen C4 Picasso, with the second-generation version of the model arriving in the UK in the summer.

The Citroen C4 Picasso features the biggest boot in its segment, offering customers a whopping 537-litres. Furthermore, the C4 Picasso is also the first compact MPV to offer sub-100g/km CO2 emissions – producing just 98g/km.

Prices for the Citroen C4 Picasso start at £17,500 for the entry-level model, rising to £24,455 for the range-topping version. All models include automatic digital air conditioning, Bluetooth and rear parking sensors as standard.

Up against the C4 Picasso is the Mazda3, which was also shortlisted by Green Car Journal as one of the finalists for its 2014 Green Car of the Year awards in October this year.

The all-new Mazda3 will arrive in the UK next month and will be available in two guises: hatchback and fastback.

Prices for the new model start from £16,695, with customers able to choice from a line-up that includes four engines, with CO2 emissions from as low as 104g/km.

The Peugeot 308 will also be attempting to take the Car of the Year crown, with the new compact family hatchback set to wow the UK when it arrives in dealerships next month.

First shown at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show in September, the Peugeot 308 features class-leading CO2 emissions, from as low as 85g/km.

The model is also built on a new EMP2 modular platform, contributing greatly to its weight-reduction of 140kg over its predecessor.

All of the cars mentioned would be worthy winners of the Car of the Year 2014 award, but we will have to wait until March next year to find out which one tops the lot.