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The new Peugeot 308 has been crowned 2014 European Car of the Year, awarded by a jury of 58 journalists representing 22 European countries on the eve of the Geneva Motor Show.

In December 2013, a shortlist of seven cars – BMW i3, Citroen C4 Picasso, Mazda3, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Skoda Octavia, Tesla Model S and the 308 – was chosen from 30 eligible new cars on sale in Europe during 2013. The new Peugeot 308 is the fourth Peugeot to win the award after the 307 in 2002, the 405 in 1988, and the 504 in 1969.

The 308 received 307 points to win this year’s honours, followed by the BMW i3 with 223 points, the Tesla Model S with 216 points, the Citroen C4 Picasso with 182 points, the Mazda3 with 180 points, the Skoda Octavia with 172 points and the Mercedes S class with 170 points.

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Produced in Sochaux, France, the new 308 was launched in Europe during the last four months of 2013. Production and sales in China, the world’s largest car market, will start in early 2015.

More than 55,000 orders have been recorded since launch, and Peugeot says that its new C-segment five-door hatchback is contributing towards the brand’s move upmarket, as upper trim levels are getting the bulk of the orders.

From the start of spring in Europe, the Mk7 Golf rival’s range will be expanded by the 308 SW estate. Nine engines are available at launch – four petrol, five diesel, including a three-cylinder 1.2-litre PureTech e-THP 130 hp turbo petrol engine as well as three BlueHDi engines. The latter includes the new BlueHDi 1.6-litre 120 hp with class leading CO2 emissions of just 82 g/km.

It’s a matter of time before the best car in Europe reaches Malaysia. What do you think of the new 308?