Alfa Romeo MitoCitroen C5Ford FiestaOpel/Vauxhall InsigniaRenault MeganeSkoda SuperbVW Golf
That means that numerous contenders have fallen by the wayside; BMW's new 7-series, the Ford Kuga, Jaguar XF and VW Scirocco were deemed unworthy by the jury of top-flight journos from around Europe.
And this year, CAR has its jury place back – editor Phil McNamara is now one of the UK's handful of judges for Car of the Year.
The European Car of the Year shortlist is announced today – and it looks like being a close-run battle this year. Take a look at the contenders below and have your say who should win by clicking 'Add your comment' at the foot of the story: