The Mazda MX-5 has been named 2016 World Car of the Year, fending off challenges from the latest Audi A4 as well as the Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class to secure one of the most prestigious awards in the automotive industry. In winning the award, the MX-5 becomes the second Mazda model after the previous-generation Mazda2 to receive the accolade, back in 2008.
In addition to the main prize, the MX-5 was also recognized for its superior aesthetic value over the field in taking home the World Car Design of the Year as well, edging ahead of the Jaguar XE as well as Mazda’s own CX-3.
Carlist.my recently had the opportunity to review the MX-5, and this is what we had to say about the car:
The MX-5 is one of those cars that every petrolhead must experience at least once in their life. It might not be the car for you, but the experience will tell you what you are missing out from other more powerful cars.
Other categories of the awards finished as follows:
- World Luxury Car:
Winner – BMW 7 Series. Finalists – Audi Q7, Volvo XC90
- World Performance Car:
Winner – Audi R8. Finalists – Honda Civic Type R, Mercedes-AMG C 63 Coupe
- World Green Car:
Winner – Toyota Mirai. Finalists – Toyota Prius, Chevrolet Volt
From the pool of winners and finalists, the Carlist.my team has to date also reviewed the Audi A4, BMW 7 Series, Mazda CX-3, Mercedes-Benz GLC, and Volvo XC90, and the following are our conclusions:
Audi A4 (Full Review)
I’m very sure for those who used to love Audis just because they were left-field, and got attracted to them just because Audi wasn't the obvious or predictable choice, (me for example) would’ve headed elsewhere in search of esoteric choices. Maybe the new Alfa Romeo Giulia, the new Volvo S90, or the Jaguar XE might suffice given how popular Audis are now - or put simply mainstream.
In my opinion, Audi shouldn't miss them one bit, because apart from being a challenger to the segment leader, the new Audi A4, short of focusing on having key features such as the Lexus IS’s funky speedo, or the Q50’s detached power steering as major marketing punchlines, the A4 retains what made it good, and focuses on making it great. And through this, earned what is now rightfully its place as the segment’s benchmark, poised to take over the spot from the BMW 3 Series proudly, unequivocally.
BMW 7 Series (Full Review)
As strange as it sounds, with BMW’s focus on making a limousine that is actually pretty good to drive the 7 Series comes across as the most well-rounded limousines around today. As much as you can imagine yourself indulging in its rear seat appointments, the 7 Series is the sort of limousine you can almost see yourself being perched up at the helm and actually enjoying yourself just as much.
And not to mention this 7 Series is one of the most beautiful limousines around with a body that looks more sculpted rather than drawn. The 7 Series cuts an authoritative profile with a commanding presence that befits an automobile of distinction. This is perhaps the most beautiful 7 Series since the 1990s E38 of James Bond and Transporter fame, which makes it even appropriate to be seen stepping out of the driver’s perch, rather than hiding away in the back. The 740Li is temptress that is enough to make you keep that swank display key to yourself, instead of passing it onto a chauffeur.
Mazda CX-3 (Full Review)
Far from being an alternative to the leading crossovers in the market, the CX-3 should be seen as the Mazda that Mazda 2 owners should buy if they can afford one – because it has everything we liked (and didn’t like) about the 2, but with better looks and more power. People who buy Mazda 2 don’t really care about interior space or utility functions, but the rest of the car buying public do.
In short, the CX-3 is not for everybody, but in the eyes of Mazda’s intended audience – the Zoom-Zoom drivers crowd - the little CX-3 stands tall with pride.
Mercedes-Benz GLC (Full Review)
Mercedes-Benz could’ve been late to arrive in the premium compact SUV segment that is currently being conquered by the BMW X3 and the Audi Q5, but it definitely has all the right ingredients to give its competitors a good run for their money. It might not be the cheapest option here but it is the freshest.
Volvo XC90 (Full Review)
The XC90 has transformed quite a bit from what it was. Regardless of whether it is the design, the technology, the looks, or the performance, the crossover impresses.
Yes, it still has its shortcomings, like how the third row of seats have to be manually folded while its rivals have buttons to complete the same task, but it also outperforms its competition in many important areas such as fuel consumption, safety, and the standard equipment offered.