A panel of 93 judges voted for the new EV.
The electric Volkswagen ID.4 was named World Car of the Year for 2021. The crossover took the honor over the also-electric Honda-e and the Toyota Yaris. A panel of 93 international journalists from 28 countries cast their votes, which were counted by KPMG.
To be eligible, vehicles must be produced in volumes of at least 10,000 units per year, must be priced below the luxury-car level in their primary markets, and must be "on-sale" in at least two major markets, on at least two separate continents, between May 1, 2020 and May 1, 2021.
"We are particularly pleased about our ID.4 being named World Car of the Year," said VW CEO Ralf Brandstatter. "The first ID Model for the key markets of Europe, China and the US carries our electric offensive around the world. A convincing car, a great idea - and the World Car of the Year award."
It's the fourth WCOTY for Volkswagen. Previous winners include the Golf (2009,2013), the UP! (2012), and the Polo in 2010. Those last two never came to the US.
The panel gives out five awards per year, in addition to WCOTY and Car Person of the Year. For 2021 the Porsche 911 won World Performance Car of the Year. The Mercedes-Benz S-Class took honors for Luxury Car of the Year. The new Land Rover Defender won for Design and the Honda-e won World Urban Car.
We drove the ID.4 a few months ago and found it pleasant enough, but priced right ($39,995 before tax credits) for a market that might still be nervous about EV adoption. Its main competition is the upcoming Nissan Ariya and the recently revealed Kia EV6 and Hyundai Ioniq 5. The new Chevy Bolts might be cross-shopped too.
The ID.4 that you can spec now comes with one motor on the rear axle making 201 hp and 228 lb-ft of torque while an AWD version is on its way with 302 hp. We've also recently learned that a less expensive model will probably come to the US soon.