A field of 51 candidates for the Continental Irish Car of the Year 2014 Awards has been announced by the Irish Motoring Writers' Association (IMWA).

The Continental Irish Car of the Year and Continental Irish Van of the Year will be revealed at a gala event in the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Santry on Thursday November 21.

The full field of candidates for the Continental Irish Car of the Year 2014 is as follows:

Audi RS 6 Avant
Audi S3
Audi S Q5 TDI
BMW 4 Series
BMW M6 Gran Coupé
Citroen C4 Picasso
Dacia Duster
Dacia Logan MCV
Dacia Sandero
Fiat 500L
Fiat 500L MPW
Ford Fiesta ST
Ford Kuga
Jaguar F-Type
Kia Carens
Lexus IS
Mercedes-Benz A-Class
Mercedes-Benz CLA
Mercedes-Benz S-Class
MINI John Cooper Works GP Hatch
MINI Paceman
Mitsubishi Space Star
Nissan Juke Nismo
Nissan Note
Opel Adam
Opel Mokka
Peugeot 2008
Peugeot 208 GTi
Porsche Cayman
Range Rover
Range Rover Sport
Renault Captur
Renault Clio
Renault Clio Renaultsport 200 Turbo
Renault Twizy
SEAT Ibiza Cupra
SEAT Toledo
Skoda Rapid
Skoda Octavia
SsangYong Korando
Subaru BRZ
Subaru Forester
Suzuki SX-4 S-Cross
Toyota Auris
Toyota Corolla
Toyota Prius+
Toyota RAV4
Volkswagen Golf
Volkswagen Golf GTI

Gerry Murphy, Chairman of the IMWA, said: "The number of cars eligible for this year's award is up from 36 entrants last year to some 51 new models for this year; that is a 38% increase. And although we mightn't see signs of it here in Ireland yet, the car manufacturers are certainly showing confidence in the wider European car market."

The 28 voting members of the Irish Motoring Writers' Association assess each vehicle, attributing points on the basis of criteria ranging from innovation and safety, to space, comfort, build quality, driving quality and value for money.

"For anyone in the lucky position of looking to renew their car with a 141 reg in January, the IMWA car jury provides a great service for Irish motorists in helping them to make sense of the array of new cars that has been launched in Ireland this year," said Tom Dennigan of Continental Tyres Ireland, Irish Car of the Year sponsor.

A shortlist of vehicles will be announced in the coming weeks.

Last year the Continental Irish Car of the Year title went to the BMW 3 Series, while the van accolade was won by the Ford Transit Custom.