World Car of the Year 2021: shortlist announced

We’ve helped narrow down the World Car of the Year entries to just 10 contenders. The winner will be announced on 20th April

World car of the year banner

The 2021 World Car of the Year jurors have narrowed down the list of competitors for this year’s final award. Now, there’s just 10 cars to choose from in the main category and five cars in the supporting Urban, Luxury, Performance and Design categories.

Among the panel of judges is Auto Express’s own editor-in-chief Steve Fowler and columnist Mike Rutherford. Each category will be further trimmed down to just three entries each over the next month and the winners will be announced on the World Car of the Year YouTube channel on 20th April.

To be eligible for the World Car of the Year award, entrants must be produced in volumes of at least 10,000 units per year, must be priced below the luxury car threshold in their respective regions and must be sold in at least two major markets (such as Europe, China, Japan, USA, Latin America and Korea).

Slightly different regulations apply to the World Urban, World Luxury and World Performance Car of the Year awards. The former two categories require production figures of at least 5,000 units per year, while the latter only requires an annual volume of 2,000 units. World Urban Car of the Year entrants must also not measure more than 4.2 metres long.

Finally, all cars eligible for any of the World Car of the Year categories are automatically entered into the draw for the World Car Design of the Year award. The winner will be decided by a panel of seven automotive design experts, including former Aston Martin and Jaguar design lead Ian Callum, plus Tom Matano, the former head of Mazda’s design department.

The shortlists for each of the 2021 World Car of the Year awards can be found below… 

2021 World Car of the Year

2021 World Urban Car

2021 World Luxury Car

2021 World Performance Car

2021 World Car Design

2020 World Car of the Year winners

Despite being a US-only model, the Kia Telluride impressed the World Car of the Year judges (including Steve Fowler and Mike Rutherford) enough to walk off with the overall title for 2020.

In a double success for Kia, the Soul EV took the award for the best Urban Car, beating the MINI Electric and Volkswagen T-Cross.

The Mazda 3 was claimed the World Car Design of the Year award, stealing the favour of the judges from the Peugeot 208 and Porsche Taycan. However, the Taycan didn’t walk away empty handed, as it won both the World Performance Car of the Year and World Luxury Car of the Year awards.

Read on to see the full list of all the World Car of the Year winners to date…

2020Kia Telluride
2019Jaguar I-Pace
2018Volvo XC60
2017Jaguar F-Pace
2016Mazda MX-5
2015

Mercedes C-Class

2014Audi A3
2013Volkswagen Golf
2012Volkswagen Up!
2011Nissan Leaf
2010

Volkswagen Polo

2009Volkswagen Golf
2008Mazda Demio
2007Lexus LS460
2006BMW 3 Series
2005Audi A6

Which car do you think will win the prestigious title? Let us know in the comments below...

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