New Honda Civic Hatchback

World Car Award Nominees: 5 Out of 23 Japanese Cars

The World Car Award (WCOTY) Foundation announced the 1st round of nominees, 23 vehicles in total, for the 2017 World Car of the Year Award at the Paris Motor Show ’16 on 29 September.

The World Car of the Year Award was started in 2005. This year’s nominees comprise those debuted between fall of 2015 and fall of 2016 or new models that have seen minor changes, which will all eventually be narrowed down to select a final winner. Vehicles only made available in Europe, North America, or Japan are not eligible for the award.

Around 70 journalists from over 20 countries around the world vote together on 6 categories including value, safety, concept, etc., and the Car of the Year will be announced in April of 2017 at the New York Motor Show ’17.

The 2017 World Car of the Year 1st round nominees are as follows:

Audi A5/S5 coupe
Audi Q2
Audi Q5
Buick Lacrosse
Buick Envision
Chevrolet Cruze
Chrysler Pacifica
Fiat124 Spider
Honda Civic
Hyundai Elantra
Hyundai Genesis G80
Infiniti Q60 (next gen. Nissan Skyline coupe)
Jaguar F-Pace
Kia Cadenza
Kia Rio
Kia Sportage
Mazda CX-9
Seat Ateca
Skoda Kodiaq
SsangYong Tivoli Air/XLV
Subaru Impreza
Toyota C-HR
Volkswagen Tiguan

This list contains 5 Japanese cars including the Toyota C-HR, the new model Honda Civic, the new Mazda CX-9, The new Subaru Impreza, and Nissan’s luxury class Infiniti Q60 (next gen. Nissan Skyline coupe). Neither the Lexus and Nissan brands saw any vehicles nominated this year.

Furthermore, neither of the premium German makers such as BMW and Mercedes Benz saw any nominations. Audi had its A5 coupe and S5 coupe nominate along with the Q2 and the Q5 nominated.

In terms of winners over the past several years, 2009 saw the Volkswagen Golf walk away with the gold, the company winning again with the Polo the next year. In 2011, the Nissan EV Leaf took the prize, with Volkswagen winning again in 2012 with their new concept car, the Up!, then back to the Golf in 2013, and Audi providing an upset in 2014 with the A3. 2015 saw the Mercedes Benz C-Class winning, and in 2016 Mazda walked away with the World Car of the Year Award for their Roadster.

[Translated by Bryce Clarke]