It may only just have reached our showrooms but the excellent Vauxhall Astra has been shortlisted for the car of the year award.
The all-new Astra joins six other nominees for the prestigious award which will be presented next February at the Geneva motor show.
The nomination comes after 58 motoring journalists from 22 countries in Europe managed to whittle down the list of 35 nominees to a shortlist of seven.
It’s a tough call to make since there are no sub-classes and journalists have to choose what win overall.
Vauxhall Astra has already been crowned as the Scottish Car of the Year
The Vauxhall Astra has already been crowned as the Scottish Car of the Year, and picked up the Safetybest as well as the Golden Steering Wheel awards.
Vauxhall is no stranger to the European Car of the Year awards, which began in 1964, and the carmaker has won twice.
Most recently, the firm picked up the award for its Ampera in 2012 while the excellent Insignia won in 2009.
The new Vauxhall Astra has been thoroughly revamped and is lighter and better equipped than the model it replaces.
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It reached our showrooms in November and sales are already strong with buyers particularly keen on the car’s new generation of diesel and petrol engines which offer better economy and lower emissions.
The Astra also features a range of new technology, many of them are a ‘new-in-class’ which do not usually feature on family hatchbacks.
Among them is the Vauxhall OnStar personal connectivity system and Matrix LED headlights which are usually seen on premium cars.