Meet The 2023 World Car Of The Year Finalists

Industry News / 12 Comments

BMW and Nissan both appear twice.

The finalists for the 2023 World Car of the Year (WCOTY) have been announced, with representatives from Germany, Italy, Japan, and Korea all making the cut. No American, British, Chinese, or French cars made the final cut, although they did collectively proliferate the candidates' pool.

Candidates that didn't make the top 10 for the main title category include the Aiways U6, Chery Omoda 5, Chery Tiggo8 Pro, Citroen C3, Citroen C5 X, and Honda CR-V. The Honda HR-V e:HEV also appeared, as did the Jeep Commander, MG4 EV, ORA Haomao, Smart #1, Subaru Solterra, and Suzuki S-Cross. The Subaru's sibling, the Toyota bZ4X, and the Toyota Crown missed out on finalist spots, while the Vietnamese VinFast VF8 - now sold in America - and Volkswagen's Taigo (otherwise known as the Nivus) and Virtus got notable mentions alongside the WEY Coffee 01, which recently impressed in European crash testing.

But before we discuss the finalists for World Car of the Year, let's take a look at the finalists in other categories, like Luxury and Performance.

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World Urban Car of the Year

Candidates in this category can be no longer than 167.3 inches and must be on sale in at least two major markets on at least two separate continents. China, Europe, India, Japan, Korea, Latin America, and the USA are considered major markets.

For 2023, the finalists were the Citroen C3, the Volkswagen Beetle-inspired ORA Haomao - also known as the Funky Cat - and the Volkswagen Taigo/Nivus.

Interestingly, there are no additional candidates mentioned, which suggests that this category is not particularly hotly contested.

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World Luxury Car of the Year

There are not too many surprises in this category, with the BMW 7 Series and all-electric i7 twins making the cut. The Genesis G90 also impressed jurors, as did Land Rover's Range Rover and Range Rover Sport. The Lucid Air is also a contender for the award.

Those that missed out on a finalist spot include the Cadillac Lyriq, the Genesis G80 Electrified, the Genesis GV60, and the Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe. The Lexus RX and RZ deserve a tip of the hat, as do the Mercedes EQB, EQE, EQS SUV, and GLC. The VinFast VF9 closes out the candidates in this category.

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World Performance Car of the Year

In this category, the contenders must be produced in volumes of at least 1,000 units per year, which explains why hypercars and low-volume supercars are not mentioned.

Finalists here are the BMW M4 CSL, the Kia EV6 GT, the Nissan Z, the Porsche 911 GT3 RS (in current-gen, 992 spec, of course), and the Toyota GR Corolla.

All of these are exceptional machines, but the Civic Type R, Mercedes-AMG SL, and Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT could just as easily have been selected as finalists.

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World Electric Vehicle of the Year

We'll get straight to business here: the finalists are few, but the candidates are many. Those that made the cut include the BMW i7, Genesis GV60, Hyundai Ioniq 6, Kia Niro EV, and Lucid Air.

Those that missed out were the Aiways U6, the BMW iX1, the Cadillac Lyriq, the Genesis G80 Electrified, and the Lexus RZ. Mercedes had several contenders, including the EQB, EQE, and EQS SUV. The MG 4 EV, also known as the Mulan, missed out alongside the Nissan Ariya, the ORA Haomao/Funky Cat, the Smart #1, the Subaru Solterra and its Toyota bZ4X cousin, and VinFast's VF8 and VF9.

If you're wondering why the Hyundai Ioniq 5 wasn't mentioned, it won pretty much everything last year.

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World Car Design of the Year

The World Car Design of the Year award automatically considers all vehicles that are eligible for other World Car award categories, and no candidates beyond the finalists are mentioned. In alphabetical order once again, the finalists are the Cadillac Lyriq, Hyundai's Ioniq 6, the Land Rover Range Rover, the Lucid Air, and the Nissan Z.

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World Car of the Year

Now that we've covered all the lesser awards, we can come full circle and list the finalists for the main category. In alphabetical order, the finalists for the 2023 award are:

  • Alfa Romeo Tonale
  • BMW 2 Series Coupe
  • BMW X1 and iX1
  • Honda HR-V
  • Hyundai Ioniq 6
  • Kia Niro
  • Mazda CX-60
  • Mercedes-Benz C-Class
  • Nissan Ariya
  • Nissan Z.

The jurors will now begin their second round of test drives and voting. On February 21, the 2023 Person of the Year will be announced, and on March 7, the World Car Top Three Finalists will be announced. Finally, on April 5, all the winners of each category will be announced at the New York International Auto Show.

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