Official Winner: Peugeot 307
Autoblog Winner: Mini
The 307 was a bit taller than a Golf or a Focus, but had no other advantages, and quickly earned an evil reputation for poor build quality (early demand led Peugeot to run the factories at way above their planned capacity and build quality suffered accordingly). In second and third places came the Laguna and the Stilo respectively, which must be the least inspiring top three in COTY history. Totally ignored was the first BMW Mini, which ironically became the first European car to win the North American Car of the Year. Americans understanding European cars better than us – that is just embarrassing.