The seven nominees for this year's European Car of the Year award have been announced and include the Alfa Romeo 159, BMW 3-series, Citroen C1/Toyota Aygo/Peugeot 107 triplets, Mazda5, Renault Clio, Toyota Yaris and VW Passat. To contend a vehicle has to be available in five or more European markets by next month and be capable of over 5000 annual sales. Judges from 22 countries then voted for their favorite nominees. Cars that almost made included the Seat Leon, Peugeot 1007 and Suzuki Swift, though the Mercedes Benz S-class was nowhere to be seen. The winner will be announced on November 14th and the trophy presented in January. With the Mazda5, Toyota Yaris and VW Passat all being available in North America either now or in the coming months, we might actually get a chance to drive Europe's best this year.

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