What’s the best car to hit showrooms in the last year or so? It’s a question that is asked every October when the longlist for the World Car of the Year awards is published.

You’ll find all the first stage nominees here but now, the no-hopers have been whittled off and the remaining candidates have been rounded-up into six categories, recognising luxury, performance, eco-credentials, urban prowess, design and the headline World Car of the Year award.

The next stage will see a jury made up of auto journalists from around the world test each car before the winners are named at the New York Motor Show on April 13th.

So which cars form the five shortlists?

World Car of the Year
2016’s winner: Mazda MX-5

  • Audi A5/S5 Coupe
  • Audi Q2
  • Audi Q5
  • Fiat/Abarth 124 Spider
  • Honda Civic
  • Jaguar F-Pace
  • Mazda CX-9
  • Skoda Kodiaq
  • Toyota C-HR
  • Volkswagen Tiguan

What we think:
It’s really tough to pick an outright winner here. Previous victors over the years have been the C-Class, A3, Golf, Polo, Nissan Leaf; so it’s not just a case of simply picking the fanciest car.

There are some firsts here though that may make the right impression. The Skoda Kodiaq and Jaguar F-Pace are debut SUVs for their respective brands, while the Q2 is Audi’s inevitable entry into the compact SUV market.

The 124 Spider is not much more than a rebadged MX-5 – last year’s winner – but we suspect the jury won’t be hoodwinked that easily.

Our choice: Audi Q2

Audi Q2

World Luxury Car of the Year
2016’s winner: BMW 7 Series

  • Bentley Bentayga
  • BMW 5 Series
  • Hyundai Genesis G90
  • Mercedes E-Class
  • Volvo S90/V90

What we think:
Another SUV-shaped first with the Bentayga and it’s quite possible that the Bentley will ride off with the gong here. Considering the category focuses on outright luxury, the Crewe-based brand should be a safe bet.

However, the 5 Series repackages much of its big brother and last year’s winner – the 7 Series – so it’s not going to be a cakewalk for the bolshy Bentley.

Our choice: Bentley Bentayga

Bentley Bentayga

World Performance Car of the Year
2016’s winner: Audi R8 Coupe

  • Aston Martin DB11
  • Audi R8 Spyder
  • Honda/Acura NSX
  • McLaren 570S
  • Porsche 718 Boxster/Cayman

What we think:
The R8 Spyder is essentially a drop-top version of last year’s winner, so Audi will fancy its chances again. But there’s some hefty rivals in the shape of the much-anticipated NSX and Aston’s DB11, that’s good for 62mph in 3.9 seconds.

The quickest of the bunch though is McLaren’s 570S, hitting 62mph in 3.2 seconds, and was named Motor Trend’s Best Driver’s Car in 2016. Meanwhile, the Boxster/Cayman has won this award twice before, which makes picking a winner very tricky.

Our choice: McLaren 570S

McLaren 570S

World Green Car of the Year
2016’s winner: Toyota Mirai

  • Chevrolet Bolt
  • Honda Clarity
  • Hyundai Ioniq
  • Tesla Model X
  • Toyota Prius Prime

What we think:
The Prius has never won this award despite all its hard work in bringing hybrids into the mainstream. Toyota won in 2016 with the hydrogen-fueled Mirai; could finally this be its year? Possibly.

Tesla bagged this award with the Model S in 2013 so the Model X is a good call.

Our choice: Toyota Prius Prime

Toyota Prius Prime

World Car Design of the Year
2016’s winner: Mazda MX-5

  • Audi A5/S5 Coupe
  • Jaguar F-Pace
  • Mazda CX-9
  • Mercedes S-Class
  • Toyota C-HR

What we think:
Going off what makes for the most visually striking car, you have to say the C-HR packs the biggest punch. It has so many sharp edges you should be made to wear goggles before looking at it.

The F-Pace is certainly an impactful car while the S-Class and A5 are eternally beautiful.

Our choice: Toyota C-HR

Toyota C-HR

World Urban Car of the Year

New category for 2017

  • BMW i3 (94Ah)
  • Citroen C3
  • Ford Ka+
  • Smart Cabriolet
  • Suzuki Ignis

What we think:
Although there are no previous winners, the jury has a reputation for choosing the most deserving winner on the whole. BMW’s i3 has a strong chance after reimagining inner-city driving a few years back, winning the Green Car category in 2014. The Ka+ is essentially a slightly shrunken Fiesta, so keep an eye on that one.

Our choice: BMW i3

BMW i3

Like What You’ve Read?

For more articles like this, receive our weekly e-newsletter, including partner deals and all things motoring, register your email below.

Please note: You cannot subscribe to Motor-Vision unless you put a tick in the checkbox below to indicate have read and agreed to our privacy policy.

2 Responses

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.