Peugeot 308 in surprise 2014 European Car of the Year win

Peugeot 308 hatchback 2013 front static
Credits: Nathan Morgan
3 Mar, 2014 2:56pm Jon Morgan

New Peugeot 308 unexpectedly edges out BMW i3, Tesla Model S and new Skoda Octavia for the crown

The new Peugeot 308 has been crowned European Car of the Year 2014 in what will go down as a surprise result in many quarters.

It was up against some tough competition in the shortlist for the award, which included the BMW i3 electric car (which was recently voted UK Car of the Year), Tesla Model S, Skoda Octavia, Mazda 3, Citroen C4 Picasso and Mercedes S-Class

The 308 beating the likes of the Skoda Octavia and the Mazda 3 will come as a surprise to many people as those models tend to outperform the Peugeot in group tests. Indeed, the 308 recently came off second best to the SEAT Leon, which shares its platform with the Octavia, in an Auto Express test. Read our Peugeot 308 vs SEAT Leon road test here.

To be eligible for the ECOTY awards, models had to have been available before the end of 2013 in at least five European countries, and also had to have notched-up or be forecasted to reach 5,000 or more sales per year.

There were 30 eligible models in total this year. And a host of seriously impressive cars failed to make it to the shortlist, including the Jaguar F-Type, BMW 4 Series, Hyundai i10, Ford Kuga, BMW X5 and Kia Carens.

Last year's winner was the Volkswagen Golf. While other previous winners include the Vauxhall Ampera (2012), Nissan Leaf (2011), Volkswagen Polo (2010), and Vauxhall Insignia (2009).

The Peugeot 308 went on sale in the UK in January and is a big step-up in quality from the 307. The car is also in the running for the 2014 World Car of the Year Awards, the shortlist for which is announced tomorrow.