Vauxhall’s all-new Astra has just been announced as one of seven nominees for the prestigious 2016 European Car of the Year award, which will be presented on the eve of the Geneva Motor Show on February 29 next year.

A total of 58 leading motoring journalists from 22 European countries – including six from the UK – had the tough task of whittling a short-list of seven cars down from a total of 35 entrants, with initial testing taking place at the notorious Tannistest in Denmark.

The Astra is already on a winning streak, both in Europe and the UK. Last month, it was named Scottish Car of the Year 2015 in Vauxhall’s biggest market, and in Europe it’s recently walked away with the 2015 Golden Steering Wheel and SAFETYBEST 2015 awards.

In the UK, ECOTY judges represent a broad range of publications, including The Daily Telegraph, Autocar and CAR magazine. Unlike many other competitions, Car of the Year has no separate segments, with jurors selecting just one overall winner.

European Car of the Year was founded in 1964, and in recent years Vauxhall has won twice: with the Insignia in 2009 and the Ampera in 2012.

The New Astra is in Vauxhall dealerships now, with a starting price of just £15,295. Weighing up to 200kgs less than the previous model, Astra is smaller outside than before, yet bigger inside. New-generation petrol and diesel engines feature in every model, with C02 emissions as low as 88g/km and power outputs up to 200PS. Astra’s new-in-class technology, like Vauxhall OnStar – a revolutionary personal connectivity system – and IntelliLux Matrix LED headlights bring premium functionality into the mainstream segment.