Renault Scenic EV takes first place as (European) Car of the Year

The automobile awards season may not be over, but two of the more prestigious annual races came closer to a climax this week.

One might need a scorecard to keep track. We’re focused here on two events: the World Car of 2024, now reduced to three finalists in six categories. Then there’s the Car of the Year,

known in some quarters as the European Car of the Year. Except that the car doesn’t have to be European to win, only sold there.

Got that?

Winners out of the way first: At the Geneva Motor Show on Monday, the Renault Scenic E-Tech all-electric has been voted Car of the Year 2024. The Scenic is a fairly compact, somewhat stylish SUV for Europe only, and is the seventh vehicle from the French brand to win the award. It sells in the United Kingdom for about $47,500.

The other six finalists that had made the first cut of voting in November were the BMW 5 Series,

BYD Seal, Kia EV9, Peugeot E-3008/3008, Toyota C-HR, and Volvo EX30. The trophy winner was chosen by a jury of 59 motoring journalists from 22 countries. Scenic came in first place with 329 points.

The Seal was the first Chinese-made car to make this award’s shortlist; it finished sixth out of seven, just up from the Toyota. One judge explained his decision to grant the Seal zero votes. Writing in Top Gear, Paul Horrell wrote this entertaining critique: “It looks good and is well specified, so makes a strong market entry. The advanced electric system and cobalt-free battery

are commendable too, and it’s enjoyable enough to drive quickly. That’s undermined by an agitated ride over bumps, and the logic of screens and switches is pretty eccentric.”

Recapping the World Car of the Year

2024 update, the sponsors shared the stage at Geneva on Monday with the Europeans as well, although they revealed only the top three finalists in six categories. For the ultimate prize, they are the Kia EV9
, the Volvo EX30 and the BYD Seal. The winners will be announced March 27 at the New York International Auto Show. Here’s more on the World Car finalists.