Toyota Leads The Way For 2021 World Car Of The Year

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The Highlander and new Venza are two of Toyota's four candidates.

Be it an Oscar-winning film, a Michelin star restaurant, or a best-selling novel, we tend to be drawn to objects and experiences that have been acclaimed in some way. In the automotive world, the World Car of the Year competition is the ultimate in bragging rights for winning automakers.

Earlier this year, the Kia Telluride took home the trophy in the 2020 competition, and now, the 2021 contenders have been announced. Toyota leads the way with four contenders, followed by Kia and Hyundai with three each. Mazda, who had two models on the podium for the 2020 competition, received a single nomination.

2020-2021 Kia Telluride Front Angle View CarBuzz
2020-2021 Kia Telluride Front View CarBuzz
2020-2021 Kia Telluride Side View CarBuzz
2020-2021 Kia Telluride Rear View CarBuzz

The list is a fairly lengthy one, and it's possible that it could be updated by the cutoff on December 1 when all candidates need to be locked in. As it stands now, these are the nominees in alphabetical order:

- Audi A3

- BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe

- BMW 4 Series

- Citroen C4/e-C4

- Ford Escape/Kuga

- Genesis G80

- Honda Jazz/Fit

- Honda e

- Hyundai Elantra/Avante

- Hyundai i10/Grand i10

- Hyundai i20

- Kia K5/Optima

- Kia Sonet

- Kia Sorento

- Mazda MX-30

- Mercedes-Benz GLA

- Nissan Rogue/X-Trail

- Seat Leon

- Skoda Octavia

- Toyota Highlander

- Toyota Sienna

- Toyota Venza/Harrier

- Toyota Yaris/Yaris Cross

- Volkswagen ID.4

Of course, not everyone in the US will be familiar with all of these vehicles, with the likes of Citroen and Skoda not selling vehicles stateside at all. The list also reflects the same model sold under different names depending on the market, such as the upcoming Toyota Venza that will be sold here but which is called the Harrier elsewhere.

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Front Angle View CarBuzz
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Frontal Aspect Genesis

BMW will be hoping to win its first World Car of the Year title since 2006, the competition's second year when the 3 Series won. Notably, the Genesis G80 is the only large luxury car on the list, and we have high hopes for the retro Honda e, even if it may not be coming to the US.

Running concurrently is the World Luxury Car, World Performance Car, World Urban Car, and World Car Design of the Year competitions. A process of whittling down these vehicles will commence before the winning car is announced on 31 March 2021 at the New York International Auto Show.

Frontal Aspect Audi
Front View Driving BMW
Front Angle View Mazda
Straight-Ahead Angle Hyundai
Front View Kia
Front Angle View Mercedes-Benz
Honda

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