It was revealed at the recent Paris Motor Show that 22 cars would be in with a chance of driving away with the prestigious ‘World Car of the Year’, a title currently held by the Mazda MX-5 and rightly so. Our fondness for the cheeky roadster is well-documented and the fourth generation model is possibly the finest iteration yet.

A jury comprising auto journalists from around the world will have to whittle the list down to three finalists before the overall winner is named at the New York Motor Show on April 13th.

Some of the cars in there haven’t been driven by anyone yet but to take a stab in the dark, we’re guessing the finalists will be Audi’s Q2, Jaguar F-Pace, and the Volkswagen Tiguan. Which do you think?



With the A5, Q2 and Q5 in the running, Audi has a better chance than anyone else. As we already said, it is likely that the Q2 [pictured] will go far in the competition but the A5 and Q5 also have a good chance too.



Because this is a global contest, some models pop up that aren’t sold in the UK. The LaCrosse full-size saloon [pictured] and Envision mid-size crossover are just two of those.

Truth is, because these American cars are only available in limited regions (US, Canada, Mexico, China and Taiwan as it stands), they never cause much bother in the World Car Awards. Next!



Another American brand that couldn’t/wouldn’t hack it in the UK. Chevy pulled out of the UK – and the rest of Europe – in 2014 because it struggled to compete on quality, price and drivability. The Cruze has little hope of getting anywhere in the WCAs.



Is it a minivan or an SUV? It doesn’t matter because there’s little disputing that this thing is nightmare-inducingly hideous! Chrysler also gave up on the UK in 2015, so the Pacifica isn’t available over here either thankfully, offered to just US and Canadian motorists for now.



When we were guessing our three finalists at the start, we were inclined to say Fiat’s 124 Spider, but it’s kinda cheating.

The car is essentially a rebadged Mazda MX-5, so in a way, it is already World Car of the Year, so for that reason, you could understand why the other candidates would cry foul if it went all the way.



For those who haven’t heard of Genesis, it’s Hyundai’s luxury division and yep, you guessed it, they aren’t on sale over here.

The G80 is a luxury mid-size sedan and a rebranded version of the original Hyundai Genesis, which IS available here. Considering you could have a BMW 5 Series or Mercedes E-Class for the same money, why would you bother?



We covered the all-new Civic in some depth recently and it’s clear that Honda isn’t messing about this time, redeveloping the hatch from the wheels up. We’d like to see it go far in these awards.



The Hyundai Elantra? What? Exactly. Next!



Nissan’s upmarket offshoot is having a tough time making an impressive and even roping in Game Of Thrones’ Kit ‘Jon Snow’ Harington for the marketing couldn’t help the mediocre Q60.



Everything to come out of Jaguar Land Rover recently has been exceptional and the F-Pace is a prime example of Jaguar’s brilliance.



Like Audi, Kia also has three cars in the running: the Rio, Sportage [pictured] and Cadenza. It’s possible that the former two could do well in the awards.



Mazda may be the current holder of the World Car of the Year title but it has little chance of defending its crown with this: the US-only CX-9.



Seat’s first ever SUV has lived up to expectations. The Ateca is sure to impress much of the judging panel.



The Kodiaq is the first ever SUV for Skoda too, but nobody outside the Czech company has driven it yet so it’s hard to gauge its chances right now.



The standard Tivoli was SsangYong’s first car to win a WCA nomination and the South Korean car maker will be buzzing at being considered yet again with the larger Tivoli XLV. It’s all about the taking part after all…



The C-HR hybrid crossover blends coupe and 4×4 styling and it could be on sale in the UK by the time the overall winner is announced. If you fancy having a closer look, it is going on a little UK tour in October, appearing at the Birmingham Bull Ring, London’s South Bank and Newcastle.

Volkswagen Tiguan


There’s a hefty chance that VW’s mid-size SUV could be named World Car of the Year come April, because jurors tend to have a soft spot for the brand.

Since the award was set up in 2005, it has come out on top more than any other car maker, with the Polo in 2010, up! in 2012 and the Golf twice (2009 and 2013). Time will tell if VW can make it a fifth.

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