The candidates for the 2021 European Car of the Year (ECOTY) award have been announced, with 29 models vying for the coveted prize. All the candidates are new vehicles on sale now or before the end of 2020 in five or more European markets, and will have to undergo two stages of voting by a jury.

From the initial 29 models, only seven will make it to the next round, with the list set to be announced on January 8 next year. Following this, a second round of voting will determine the single winner, which will be announced on March 1, 2021.

Leading the pack in terms of entries is Mercedes-Benz, which is the only brand that has four models – GLA, GLB, GLS and S-Class – listed as nominees. Coming in close with three contenders is Hyundai, with the i10, i20 and Tucson potentially becoming the next ECOTY winner.

Meanwhile, marques with two models in the competition are BMW, Ford, Honda, Toyota and Volkswagen. Rounding off the list is a diverse line-up that includes the Audi A3, Citroen C4, Cupra Formentor, Dacia Sandero, the new Fiat 500, Kia Sorento, Land Rover Defender, Mazda MX-30, Peugeot 2008, Polestar 2, Seat Leon and Skoda Octavia. The full list of nominees is presented below:

Last year’s ECOTY winner was the Peugeot 208, which managed to finish ahead of the Tesla Model 3 and Porsche Taycan, while other finalists were the Renault Clio V, Ford Puma, Toyota Corolla and F40 BMW 1 Series.