The panel of 59 automotive journalists which decide each year's European Car of the Year have narrowed down their selection from the initial list of 38 contenders to just seven finalists, which have now been announced. Along the way, some noteworthy new vehicles have been forsaken, among them the new Audi A4, BMW 7 Series, Honda Accord, Jaguar XF and Volkswagen Scirocco, but not everyone could make the short-list. Otherwise it wouldn't be a short list.

The finalists for the coveted prize includes the Alfa Romeo MiTo, Citroen C5, Ford Fiesta, Opel/Vauxhall Insignia, Renault Megane, Skoda Superb and Volkswagen Golf. It's worth noting that previous versions of the Megane took home the trophy in their hatchbacks twice since the contest was instituted thirteen years ago. Fiat and Alfa Romeo, meanwhile, have won it six times. We'll see who takes home the prize for 2009, with the winner scheduled for release in just over a week on November 19.

[Source: CarScoop]