Ford's S-Max MPV has been crowned European Car of the Year, by a panel of journalists. Is it a victory for originality, or yet another duff decision from Europe's motoring journalists?
The shortlist for the award comprised:
• Citroen C4 Picasso
• Fiat Grande Punto
• Ford S-Max
• Honda Civic
• Peugeot 207
• Skoda Roomster
• Vauxhall Corsa
• Volvo C30
The panel of 58 writers selected those eight contenders for the 41 cars eligible for the award. Is the S-Max's victory a breath of fresh air, after years of humdrum hatchbacks (Peugeot 307 in 2001 or Renault Clio in 2005, anyone?) or plain baffling decisions (Ford Mondeo losing out in 2000)?
CAR Online has praised the S-Max's decent dynamics and applauded its sleek styling that's a break from the cereal box on wheels, MPV norm. But what do YOU think? Check out our opinions by clicking the car names on the shortlist, then click the 'ADD COMMENT' button below to tell us your views.
Should the S-Max have got the nod, or was there a more deserving winner, either on or off the 2006 shortlist? Ray Hutton, the president of the jury, said: 'This was a very close contest with all eight finalists deserving a place on the shortlist. But the jury was impressed by the S-Max concept: a spacious and versatile car that drives like a sports saloon.'
Ford is delighted by its first win since 1999, when the original Focus rightly won the crown. 'This award confirms what we believe: that the S-Max is different, combining elements of a sports car and multi-activity vehicle to deliver a dynamic and stylish family car that you really want to own,' bragged Ford of Britain boss Roelant de Waard.