Renault Austral or Peugeot 408, two French cars in the running for the car of the year 2023?

The Renault Austral and the Peugeot 408 are in the running for the title of car of the year 2023. @GREG / Tibo//The Good Click

TEST – Among the seven elected for the final round of the most popular prize in the sector, there are two new tricolors.

France has nothing to be ashamed of. The tricolor brands have been awarded sixteen times since the creation of the car of the year award in 1964. Only Germany has done better, with nineteen crowns by integrating the five Ford titles that are classified sometimes like an American manufacturer. Italy ranks third with twelve trophies. For the 60e edition of the most prized prize in the automobile industry, the one that many manufacturers dream of pinning down, the sixty European journalists – in which Le Figaro – will deliver their verdict on January 13, at the Brussels show.

Since last Thursday, we know the list of seven finalists from an initial list of 45 vehicles. In addition to the two French cars tested below, the Coty (“Car of the Year”) jury selected the Jeep Avenger, the Kia Niro, the Nissan Ariya, the Subaru cousins ​​Solterra and Toyota bZ4X, and the Volkswagen ID . buzz. Reaching the final already earned them a first title to glory…

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Car of the Year 2023: the seven finalists

NEWS – Two French models are among the seven cars qualified for the most renowned prize in the automotive industry.

Who will succeed the Kia EV6 voted “Car of the Year 2022”? One certainty: the sixtieth “Car of the Year” will be an electrified model. Among the twenty-three vehicles in the running for the final, the jury of sixty-one European journalists, who participated in this election, including a member of the editorial staff of Le Figaro, favored hybrid, rechargeable hybrid or electric vehicles. The results revealed at the Brussels Motor Show on January 13, 2023 will reward one of the seven finalists, which are the Jeep Avenger, the Kia Niro, the Nissan Ariya, the Peugeot 408, the Renault Austral, Volkswagen ID.Buzz and the duo Subaru Solterra-Toyota bZ4X.

Once again, the list is intended to be a snapshot of the market, favoring SUV architecture, apart from the Peugeot 408 which tries a new approach, halfway between the sedan and the leisure vehicle.

Renault Austral. @GREG

If the Renault Austral, the family SUV that succeeds the Kadjar, is the only model not to be offered with an electric powertrain, only with the French manufacturer’s E-Tech Hybrid technology apart from the conventional petrol versions, the Kia Niro is the only offer to be available with the three electrified technologies: hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric.

For its part, the Peugeot 408 marketed at the beginning of next year in a Pure tech 130 petrol version and in a rechargeable hybrid (180 and 225 hp) will be enriched in 2024 with a 100% electric version. Also from the Stellantis group, the Avenger is the first electric Jeep in history. It borrows its technology from the DS3 e-Tense but will also be available in a four-wheel drive version.

Volkswagen ID.Buzz. Volkswagen AG/Volkswagen AG

As for the Volkswagen ID.Buzz, it plays on the springs of nostalgia, wanting to be the Combi of the 21st century. Pending an extended version that can accommodate 7 or 8 people, this vehicle appears to be the first electric minivan on the market. Finally, the last two finalists are also electric vehicles. The Ariya is Nissan’s first electric crossover. It shares its Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance CMF-EV platform with the Renault Mégane E-Tech Electric. Its range is more extensive than that of the French compact.

Last model in the running: the Toyota bZ4X and its cousin Subaru Solterra. These two SUVs do not shine with their autonomy but can flatter themselves with real crossing capacities. The games are therefore open for this 60th election. Verdict on January 13 in Brussels.