Every year, hundreds of motoring journalists from all over the world descend upon New York City for the New York International Auto Show . Among the new car reveals, fancy parties and exciting concepts, the New York Auto Show also plays host to the World Car of the Year Awards.
This prestigious award is handed out by a collection of experienced automotive journalists from around the world. Some of this year’s jurors include writers from countries like Japan, Russia, South Africa, China, Australia and more. Overall there are nearly 70 jurors in total.
Of all the cars that were eligible for this year’s award, twelve have been selected as finalists. We have brought together all twelve of the final candidates for you here, and we also included a little bit information about each one.
Which one do you think deserves to win and why? Sound off in the comments below.
Click past the jump to read about the World Car of the Year candidates
Audi’s new A3 is a leap forward for the small car. The amazing wagon version we all know and love may be gone in the US, but the sedan that replaces it is better in nearly every way. Built on the all-new MQB structure for the Volkswagen family, and powered by new engines, the new car is lighter, has more power and achieves even greater fuel economy than before.
What was once a tarted up VW with an Audi badge on the grille has become a full-fledged member of the family.
Gallery Audi A3 Sedan
By killing the 3 Series Coupe and creating the 4 Series, BMW allowed its designers to create a much nicer and more aggressive car than what was previously possible. By removing the shackles that come with creating a shape that works with 2-doors or 4, the new 4 Series has become the best looking Bimmer in recent memory. With its longer wheelbase and shorter overhangs, it also promises to outhandle its 3 Series sibling as well.
So it’s a better looking, better handling version of the best car in the class. Sounds like a win to us.
Gallery BMW 4 Series Coupe
The upcoming i3 represents a substantial shift in the automotive world for dozens of reasons. Whether you are talking about its advanced eco-friendly powertrain or production breakthrough required to mass produces its carbon fiber monocoque body, the i3 is setting new benchmarks. The fact that is produced by one of the foremost experts in cars with great performance and handling is just icing on the cake.
BMW is the only company with two cars in the running this year, and with models like the i3, it is easy to see why.
Gallery BMW i3
Cadillac astonished the world with the original CTS more than a decade ago. It proved that America had what it takes to challenge the Germans in the sports sedan market. Now with the third-generation car, the CTS just doesn’t just prove America can compete, it shows that we are capable of winning.
With an upcoming V version, America’s best sports sedan is only going to get better.
Gallery Cadillac CTS Sedan
When it comes to small stylish cars, the French are hard to beat. The new Citroen C4 Picasso is a great example of how to create a spacious MPV without making something that resembles a small slab of lard. The front end of the new-generation car looks like its straight out of the future.
On top of its looks, the Picasso has a pair of punchy 1.6-liter engines - one diesel, one gasoline - and features a whole load of standard safety equipment; making it a smart buy for any family.
Gallery Citroen C4 Picasso
Ford’s new Fusion sedan sets a new benchmark for the midsize market.The fusion has always looked good, but with its new front end, the Fusion looks like a high market that should cost double what it stickers for.
More than that sexy Aston-esque nose, the Fusion handles well, it’s very quiet and it doesn’t cost a fortune. If there was ever a good reason for people to stop buying Camrys, the Fusion is it.
Gallery Ford Fusion
Infiniti’s replacement for the G37 sedan may feature the same drivetrains as the last model, but with a more grown up exterior style and an available diesel engine option, it has given Infiniti a weapon in Europe. The once unknown brand is making waves and gaining customers on the strength of this one model. Considering it is also the basis of the upcoming Eau Rouge sports model, the Q50 is one of the most important cars in the Infiniti stable.
Gallery Infiniti Q50
The Jeep Cherokee has the world divided on its styling, but there is no denying the off-road capability that has been instilled in this machine. With a collection of powerful but efficient engines, Jeep brand heritage and true all-condition capability, there are few vehicles on sale in the world that can offer what the Cherokee does.
Its controversial styling can also been seen as a bonus. It takes guts to create something so radical, and it will likely age well into the future.
Gallery Jeep Cherokee
The Lexus IS has long been an underperforming member of the sports sedan market. It had the powerful V6 and RWD needed to compete, but its soft Lexus underbelly always relegated it to last place behind the German three. Now that is all set to change with the latest IS. It is faster, more aggressive and no longer feels content to feed from the left over buyers who are tired of Mercedes , BMW and Audi. It may not be as track focused as some of the competitors, but this Lexus’ performance potential proves its no slouch anymore, either.
Gallery Lexus IS
The Mazda 3 is a perrenial favorite of journalists and enthusiasts. With eager engines, wonderful handling and bargain pricing, it has the potential to be one of the best selling cars on the market. Thanks to a polarizing exterior design and lax marketing, the 3 has never been a massive sales force, but maybe this new redesigned model will have what it takes to have a great sales year in 2014.
More than the redesign, the full suite of lightweight Skyactiv technologies make this the best handling and most fuel efficient Mazda3 ever.
Gallery Mazda3 Sedan
As the second French car to make the list, the second-generation Peugeot 308 has a lot to live up to. The original 308 was one of the best small cars in all of Europe. By all indications the new 308 id better than its predecessor in every measurable way. Not only fuel economy and performance better, but overall refinement is much improved.
Gallery Peugeot 308/301
As a brand, Skoda was once the laughing stock of the Volkswagen stables. Now fast forward a few years, and cars like the new Octavia are gaining worldwide recognition. The Octavia builds on the strengths of Volkswagen’s German engineering to provide a car that is spacious, functional and cheap. Despite its bargain price, it offers refinement and equipment equal to competitors costing thousands more.
It has even been built on the same MQB structure that provides the underpinnings for the Audi A3.
Gallery Skoda Octavia
The countdown has begun for the 2014 World Car Awards (the WCAs) prize-giving ceremony to be hosted by the New York International Auto Show (NYIAS) and Bridgestone Corporation on Thursday, April 17, 2014. Winners of the 2014 World Car of the Year, World Luxury Car, World Performance Car, World Green Car and World Car Design of the Year will all be declared at this time.
The World Car Awards and the New York International Automobile Show earlier this year announced a five-year alliance that will keep the prestigious awards programme in New York City through 2018. The agreement marks the formalising of an eight-year relationship between WCA and NYIAS that has seen the awards programme grow to become the recognised number 1 premier automotive award.
Prior to the ceremony in New York, WCA’s top three finalists in all award categories will be announced at the Geneva International Motor Show on Tuesday, March 4th, 2014.
But first, a jury of sixty-nine (69) distinguished international automotive journalists selected the following finalists in the World Car of the Year, World Luxury Car and World Performance Car categories by secret ballot, based on their experience with each candidate as part of their professional work. For more details about our jurors, and their outlets, please visit our web site: www.wcoty.com and click < Jurors.
The international accounting firm KPMG tabulated the jurors’ ballots and announced the finalists today.
The 2014 World Car of the Year will be selected from the following finalists listed in alphabetical order. You will note that there are 12 finalists due to a multiple tie.
- Audi A3
- BMW 4 Series
- BMW i3
- Cadillac CTS
- Citroen C4 Picasso
- Ford Fusion / Mondeo
- Infiniti Q50
- Jeep Cherokee
- Lexus IS
- Peugeot 308
- Skoda Octavia
Previous World Car of the Year winners were the Volkswagen Golf in 2013, the Volkswagen Up! in 2012, the Nissan LEAF in 2011, the Volkswagen Polo in 2010, the Volkswagen Golf in 2009, the Mazda2 / Mazda Demio in 2008, the Lexus LS460 in 2007, the BMW 3-Series in 2006, and the Audi A6 in 2005.
The 2014 World Luxury Car will be chosen from one of these top ten finalists:
- Bentley Flying Spur
- BMW X5
- Cadillac ELR
- Cadillac Escalade
- Maserati Ghibli
- Maserati Quattroporte
- Mercedes-Benz S-Class
- Porsche Macan
- Range Rover Sport
- Rolls-Royce Wraith
This is the first year for the World Luxury Car award. This new category is created to acknowledge higher-priced premium models selling in more limited numbers worldwide.
The 2014 World Performance Car has eleven finalists due to a tie:
- Alfa Romeo 4C
- Audi RS 6 Avant
- BMW M6 Gran Coupe
- Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
- Ferrari 458 Speciale
- Ford Fiesta ST
- Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 Roadster
- Mercedes-Benz A/CLA45 AMG
- Porsche 911 GT3
- Porsche 911 Turbo
- Volkswagen Golf GTI
Previous World Performance Car winners were the Porsche Boxster/Cayman in 2013, the Porsche 911 in 2012, the Ferrari 458 Italia in 2011, the Audi R8 V10 in 2010, the Nissan GT-R in 2009, the Audi R8 in 2008, the Audi RS4 in 2007 and the Porsche Cayman S in 2006.
The 2014 World Green Car category is handled differently. Five experts in “green” technology were appointed by the World Car Awards Steering Committee to extensively review all documentation and specs associated with each candidate on the list of nominees. The experts then create a short-list of finalists for review by the sixty-nine jurors in their second round of voting this month. The finalists for 2014 are:
- Audi A3 Sportback e-tron (+ Audi e-gas)
- BMW i3
- Honda Accord Hybrid
- Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
- Volkswagen XL1
The five experts on the advisory panel are in alphabetical order: Phil Berg (USA - PopularMechanics.com); Richard Bremner (U.K. Autocar magazine), Claus-Peter Koeth (Germany - automobil-industrie.de); Yumi Kawabata (Japan-environmental journalist) and John Voelcker (USA - GreenCarReports.com)
Cars eligible for the 2014 World Car Design of the Year award are taken from the list of World Car candidates or may be included as a stand-alone entry provided the vehicle is available in quantities of at least 10 in one major market during the period beginning January 1, 2013 and ending May 30th, 2014. Candidates may be pre-production or all-new production.
Again, a design panel consisting of five highly respected world design experts was asked to first review each candidate, and then establish a short-list of recommendations for the jurors. The design experts are: Masatsugu Arimoto (Japan – Freelance design journalist); Silvia Baruffaldi (Italy – Auto & Design magazine); Gernot Bracht (Germany – Pforzheim Design School); Sam Livingstone (U.K. - Car Design Research and Royal College of Art) and Tom Matano (USA - School of Industrial Design at Academy of Art University in San Francisco)
The finalists for the jurors are:
- BMW i3
- Cadillac CTS
- Citroen C4 Picasso
- Lexus IS
- Mercedes-Benz C-Class
- Volkswagen XL1
Prime Research International, a global leader in strategic communication research and consultancy is the World Car Awards’ research partner. Prime Research joined forces with the World Car Awards in 2009 by agreeing to track, and report on, global media coverage of our awards programme.
Now in their tenth year, the annual World Car Awards are now the number one awards programme in the world based on Prime Research’s 2013 report.
The awards were inaugurated in 2003, and officially launched in January 2004, to reflect the reality of the global marketplace, as well as to recognise and reward automotive excellence on an international scale. The awards are intended to complement, not compete, with existing national and regional Car of the Year programs.
The awards are administered by a non-profit association, under the guidance of a Steering Committee of pre-eminent automotive journalists from Asia, Europe, and North America. Peter Lyon (Japan) and Matt Davis (Italy) are the co-chairs; John McCormick (USA), Jens Meiners (Germany), Mike Rutherford (U.K.), Eddie Alterman (USA), and Gerry Malloy (Canada) are the directors. There is no affiliation with, nor are the awards in any way influenced by any publication, auto show, automaker, or other commercial enterprise.