The beginning of a New Year can mean only one thing: the What Car? Car of the Year announcement is on the horizon! This week What Car? revealed their winners shortlist for the 2022 Car of the Year. 27 cars are in contention for the title, view the full shortlist here. The winner is to be announced at the awards ceremony on Thursday 20 January.

In addition to the overall winner, 26 vehicle category winners will be named as part of the event – the categories range from small electric car, performance car, family car and luxury SUV.

To be eligible for a What Car? award, the car has to have been launched in the past 12 months. Contenders this year include the BMW i4 and Hyundai Tucson. Many of the 26 short listers are electric vehicles, reflecting the move towards electric engines amid concerns over climate change and pollutants. List prices of the vehicles range from £15,000 to £99,000.

What Car? have a thorough testing system in place to judge the winner. Cars have to be tested back- to- back with their rivals, both on UK roads and at What Car?’s dedicated test track. The What Car? team outlined their vigorous testing process here.

What Car? editor Steve Huntingford reported on the process of deciding 2022’s winner- “Over the last year we’ve driven hundreds of new cars back to back with their rivals so we can name the very best on sale. And history shows that being named Car of the Year guarantees strong sales for the winning model.”

2022 is an exciting year for the competition as it has returned to being held at Grosvenor House. In 2021, the awards ceremony was held entirely virtually due to Covid – 19. This year guests are being asked to do a lateral flow test before entering the venue to help minimise the risk of Omicron spreading.

The What Car? competition has been held every year since 1978 and has been humorously likened to the ‘motoring Oscars’ by its organisers. Winners of previous years have included the Volkswagen Golf GTI in 1981, the Ford Mondeo 1.8 GLX in 1993 and Land Rover Discovery RDV6 S auto in 2005 so a real range of styles and models. For more information about all of the past winners, click here for a comprehensive list.

Stay up to date with What Car? for news of 2022’s Car of the Year winner- announced next Thursday!

What car do you think is worthy of the title? Let us know in the comments below.