It’s the most exciting time of year for car enthusiasts — they’ve just announced the finalists for the World Car of the Year award. This award, which has been given annually since 2004, highlights the best of the best in automotive manufacturing.
Let’s take a closer look at this year’s finalists, as well as some of the highlights of previous years.
Ten cars are shortlisted for the award:
- Audi e-tron, Audi’s first fully electric SUV
- BMW 3 Series
- Ford Focus
- Genesis G70
- Hyundai Nexo, the only hydrogen-powered model on the list
- Jaguar I-Pace
- Mercedes-Benz A-Class
- Suzuki Jimny
- Volvo S60 and the S60 Wagon
- Volvo XC40
There are also five other categories — Design of the Year, Luxury Car, Performance Car, Urban Car and Green Car — that are all up for grabs. One fan favorite is the Suzuki Jimny, a boxy off-road SUV that scored three ANCAP safety stars.
It might not be the most technologically advanced car on the list, but it’s both fun and affordable, making it a front-runner in this competition.
Choosing the World’s Best Car
What goes into selecting the world’s best car every year?
This award is based on the judgments of each year’s jury — 82 automotive journalists from around the world that are newly chosen for each new year. To qualify, the vehicle must be sold in at least five countries, making it a global commodity. This qualification counts out many North American cars and manufacturers because they’re only available in the states.
During its first year, the only award handed out was the big one — World Car of the Year. In 2006, the performance, green and design categories were added, and in 2013 the luxury category joined the ranks. In 2017, the urban car award was also added.
Past Winners in the Present
While we wait for the jury to finish their judging — the winners will be announced at the 2019 New York Auto Show in April — let’s take a peek at some of the winners of the past, especially those that are in the running again this year.
The Audi XC60 took the big prize in 2018, and it’s up for the same honors this year. BMW won World Performance car in the same year with the M5, and Audi took the title of World Luxury Car with its A8.
BMW took the first Urban Car title in 2017 with the i3. That year also features two wins by the Jaguar F-PACE, and one each by Mercedes, Toyota and Porsche.
BMW, in particular, has entered at least one prize-winning car in the last five years. The 7 Series took the Luxury Car title in 2016, and the i8 won World Green Car in 2015. In 2014, the i3 took two titles — Green and Design.
Even with all of these wins under their belt, BMW hasn’t won the World Car of the Year title since 2006 with the 3 Series — the same model that’s shortlisted as a finalist this year. Maybe 2019 is the year that BMW’s luck changes.
We’ve got a couple of months before this year’s winners will be announced — 2019’s New York Auto Show runs from April 19th through the 28th — but that’s plenty of time to speculate on who might take home the title this year. Who do you think will win the coveted World Car of the Year title?