The Volvo XC60 has been named the 2018 World Car of the Year with the announcement taking place at the New York Auto Show this week.
The Volvo XC60 was chosen from an initial entry list of 34 vehicles from all over the world. The vehicles were then whittled down to a short list of 10 and then reduced to 3 finalists announced in Geneva earlier this month: the Mazda CX-5, the Range Rover Velar and the Volvo XC60.
To be eligible for the overall World Car Award, the candidates must become available for sale on at least two continents during the period beginning 1 January 2017 and ending 31 May 2018.
This year, vehicles were selected and voted on by an international jury panel comprised of 82 top-level automotive journalists from 24 countries, including Cars.co.za Consumer Experience Manager, Hannes Oosthuizen, South Africa’s sole representative on the panel.
"Of the 3 finalists, the new XC60 was my preferred candidate for the overall win. It’s probably the best example of all that is good about Volvo at the moment - great design inside and out, quality finishes and a strong performance/efficiency balance, without sacrificing the practicality and safety aspects the brand is so famous for" says Oosthuizen.
Previous World Car of the Year winners were the Jaguar F-PACE (2017), Mazda MX-5 (2016), Mercedes-Benz C-Class (2015), the Audi A3 (2014), the Volkswagen Golf (2013), the Volkswagen Up! (2012), the Nissan Leaf (2011), the Volkswagen Polo (2010, the Volkswagen Golf (2009), the Mazda2 / Mazda Demio (2008), the Lexus LS460 (2007), the BMW 3-Series (2006), and the Audi A6 (2005).
Also see: Volvo XC60: 5 Things You Should Know
World Urban Car of the Year: Volkswagen Polo
This year is the 6th time that the company has won a World Car award. Volkswagen AG has previously won top "World Car of the Year" honours a total of four times: in 2013 (Golf), 2012 (Up!), 2010 (Polo) and 2009 (Golf VI).
This year's winner was chosen from an initial entry list of 8 cars from all over the world, then a short list of 3 finalists as announced in Geneva earlier this month: the Ford Fiesta, the Suzuki Swift and the Volkswagen Polo.
The World Urban Car award was introduced last year because it's an award whose time has come. World Car vice-chairman, Mike Rutherford, commented, "Everyday cars in many - perhaps most - parts of the world will have to become smaller if road and parking space is to be found for them in increasingly packed towns and cities whose populations are swelling annually." Last year's inaugural World Urban Car winner was the BMW i3 (94Ah).
World Luxury Car: Audi A8
2018 marks the 9th time that AUDI AG has won a World Car award. The company previously won World Car of the Year in 2014 (Audi A3) and the very first World Car of the Year award in 2005 (Audi A6).
Audi has also won four World Performance Car titles: 2016 (Audi R8 Coupé), 2010 (Audi R8 V10), 2008 (Audi R8) and 2007 (Audi RS 4). The company also captured the World Car Design of the Year award in 2007 and 2008.
This year’s winner was chosen from an initial entry list of 5 prestigious cars from all over the world, then a short list of three finalists as announced in Geneva earlier this month: the Audi A8, the Porsche Cayenne and the Porsche Panamera.
Previous World Luxury Car winners were the Mercedes-Benz E-Class (2017), the BMW 7 Series (2016), the Mercedes-Benz S Coupé (2015) and the Mercedes-Benz S-Class (2014). The award was first created in 2014 to acknowledge higher-priced premium models selling in more limited numbers worldwide.
Also see: Audi A8 (2018) Revealed [with Video]
World Performance Car: BMW M5
This is the 7th time that a BMW has won a World Car award. Previously, the company won the inaugural World Urban Car award in 2017 (BMW i3); the 2016 World Luxury Car award (BMW 7 series); two back-to-back World Green Car awards (BMW i8 – 2015, BMW i3 – 2014) as well as another World Green Car win in 2008 (BMW 118d with Efficient Dynamics). In 2006, the BMW 3-Series captured top honours as the World Car of the Year.
The BMW M5 was chosen from an initial entry list of 11 cars from all over the world then a short list three finalists as announced Geneva earlier this month: the BMW M5, the Honda Civic Type R and the Lexus LC 500.
Candidates eligible for World Performance Car must be produced in volumes of at least 2,000 units/year, must be overtly performance focused in nature, and must be available for sale on at least two continents during the period beginning January 1, 2017 and ending May 31, 2018.
Previous World Performance Car winners were the Porsche Boxster Cayman (2017), the Audi R8 Coupe (2016), the Mercedes-Benz AMG GT (2015), then three Porsche wins in a row: the 911 GTE in 2014, the Boxster/Cayman in 2013, and the 911 in 2012. Ferrari won the 2011 World Performance title for the 458 Italia while the Audi R8 V10 won in 2010, the Nissan GT-R in 2009, the Audi R8 in 2008, the Audi RS4 in 2007 and the Porsche Cayman S in 2006.
Also see: BMW M5 (2018) Specs & Pricing
World Car Design of the Year: Range Rover Velar
The new Range Rover Velar won the World Car Design of the Year Award. The World Car Design of the Year category, and the corresponding award are meant to highlight new vehicles with innovation and style that push established boundaries. This year, the cars eligible for the 2018 World Car Design of the Year award encompassed all the contenders competing in the other 5 award categories. As announced in Geneva earlier this month, the 82 jurors voted the Lexus LC 500, the Range Rover Velar and the Volvo XC60 as the “Top 3 in The World” finalists for this category.
World Green Car: Nissan LEAF
The Nissan Leaf was chosen from an initial entry list of 4 new vehicles from all over the world, then a short list of 3 finalists as announced in Geneva earlier this month: the BMW 530e iPerformance, Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid and Nissan LEAF. The Nissan LEAF won the overall World Car of the Year title in 2011 while the Nissan GT-R won the 2009 World Performance Car award.
To be eligible for the 2018 World Green Car award, a vehicle had to be all-new, or substantially revised, in production and introduced for sale or lease to the public in quantities of at least 10 in at least one major market during the period beginning January 1, 2017 and ending May 31, 2018. Tailpipe emissions, fuel consumption, and use of a major advanced power plant technology (beyond engine componentry), aimed specifically at increasing the vehicle's environmental responsibility, were all taken into consideration.
Previous World Green Car winners were: the Toyota Prius Prime (2017), the Toyota Mirai (2016), the BMWi8 (2015) and the BMW i3 (2014), then the Tesla Model S (2013), the Mercedes-Benz S 250 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY (2012), the Chevrolet Volt (2011), the Volkswagen BlueMotion (2010), the Honda FCX Clarity (2009), the BMW 118d with Efficient Dynamics (2008), the Mercedes-Benz E320 Bluetec (2007) and the Honda Civic Hybrid (2006).