World Car of the Year finalists revealed, more support for EVs

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Words: Matthew Hansen
3 Mar 2021

World Car of the Year organisers have unveiled their comprehensive list of finalists across a range of different classes for their 2021 festivities, with finalists for the grand prize originating from Germany, Japan, and Korea.

In alphabetical order, the overall prize is set to be decided between these 10 cars; the Audi A3, BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe, BMW 4 Series, Honda e, Kia K5, Kia Sorento, Mazda MX-30, Mercedes-Benz GLA, Toyota Yaris, and Volkswagen ID.4.

That makes for an interesting list. The 4 Series has been hailed as a success for drivers, even with all the ongoing chatter around its looks. The Yaris has already collected a range of awards around the world, including the European COTY crown and a selection of awards from NZ Autocar’s 2020 COTY awards

Three electric cars make the outright final, none of which are sold new in New Zealand — yet. It’s part of a growing awareness of EVs from those in the organisation. As part of this, it’s confirmed a new World Electric Car of the Year sub-class, the finalists of which are yet to be announced.

The group has confirmed its Urban Car of the Year finalists, which include the Honda e, Toyota Yaris, Honda Jazz, Hyundai i10, and Hyundai i20. The Jazz was recently confirmed for the New Zealand market, while it’s expected that the i20 will hit our shores later this year.

The World Luxury Car finalist list is made up of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Aston Martin DBX, BMW X6, Land Rover Defender, and Polestar 2. The Performance Car finalists, meanwhile, are made up of the Toyota GR Yaris, Porsche 911 Turbo, BMW M2 CS, and curiously a pair of SUVs — the Audi RS Q8 and BMW X5 M and X6 M.

Those particularly interested in car design will note the abundance of minimalist thinking in the five finalists for World Car Design of the Year. The Honda e, Polestar 2, Mazda MX-30, Land Rover Defender, and Porsche 911 Turbo all feature.

Each category will have its list of finalists shrunken to just three later this month, before the winners are announced on April 20.

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