Every year, a select group of leading automotive journalists are called together for a rather important task. They need to decide which cars are going to take home a World Car of the Year award- an there are usually 5 awards up for grabs. It is a not-for-profit organization, and they are therefore not affiliated with any particular brand or company. Auditing firm KPMG is employed to tabulate the votes and finalize the results of the competition.
Naturally there is some difficulty when it comes to global car awards. On a regional scale it is easier to vote on cars as they will usually be made available in most of the countries involved. Expanding this to a global scope may mean that some cars have to be excluded from the competition, or some journalists may not be able to vote on a specific car as it isn’t available locally. Despite this, the World Car of the Year panel managed to select 5 cars to receive these prestigious awards. Certain models are known and marketed so well on a global scale that they need not be made physically available for journalists to vote- especially if they are based on principle and have achieved empirical results. The winners are listed below:
2016 World Car of the Year – Mazda MX-5
Mazda is no stranger to these awards, as even their Mazda 2 managed to achieve WCOTY status back in 2008. From an entry list of 23 cars, the MX-5 was shortlisted in the top 3, along with the Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz GLC. Ultimately it managed to eke out ahead of the competition- being commended on for its back-to-basics approach, and ultimately being one of the best driver’s cars around.
2016 World Luxury Car Award – BMW 7 Series
Created in 2014 to acknowledge higher priced premium models, the World Luxury Car Award is reserved for the more prestigious models on offer. This year, the BMW 7 Series takes home the award, succeeding the Mercedes-Benz S Coupe from last year. What gives the 7 Series such an edge over the competition is its blend of cutting edge technology and classic luxury. The jurors commented that the drop in weight thanks to its carbon core is as important as the comfort and entertainment engineered into the model.
2016 World Performance Car Award – Audi R8
Taking back the World Performance Car Award this year is the Audi R8, which will be the fourth award for the R8 family since the beginning of the World Car of the Year awards. This year’s model comes purely in V10 flavour, but it wasn’t power alone that impressed the jurors; the R8’s ability to be driven in both fast and slow situations made it a very usable, appreciable performance car. The other runners up to the award were the new Honda Civic Type R and the Mercedes-Benz AMG C63 Coupe.
2016 World Car Design of the Year Award – Mazda MX-5
The Mazda MX-5 receives yet another award this year, coming out on top in terms of car design. In this category, six design specialists narrowed down the contenders before the pool of 73 jurors could come to a vote. The MX-5’s combination of modern styling and old-school roadster proportions is what led it to victory, coming ahead of the Mazda CX-3 and the Jaguar XE.
2016 World Green Car Award – Toyota Mirai
The Mirai is one car that needs no introduction. It is Toyota’s first mass-market hydrogen car, and it was rolled out aggressively in California and Europe during its semi-beta testing phase. Naturally it was a strong contender to take the top spot in this category, finally wresting the award away from BMW and ending their streak. The only serious competition it had was from the Toyota Prius, with the other top-3 contender being the Chevrolet Volt.