World Car of the Year Candidates Officially Announced
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.