The annual World Car Awards, aka WCOTY (World Car Of The Year), has been running for 14 years. It is seen as the most prestigious awards, on a global scale, in the automobile industry. It is essentially like the Oscars of motoring.

2018 World Car of the Year

volvo xc60 world car awards winner

Anders Gustafsson at the 2018 World Car Awards ceremony at the Javits Center in Manhattan, NY March 28, 2018.
CREDIT: Kevin Hagen for The World Car Awards

The three finalists in the running for the World Car Of The Year title was the Mazda CX-5, the Range Rover Velar and the Volvo XC60. These vehicles made their way down the list from an initial entry list of 34 vehicles. The crown went to the new mid-size SUV, the Volvo XC60.

The other seven cars in the top ten semi-finalists comprised of the Alfa Romeo Giulia, BMW X3, Kia Stinger, Land Rover Discovery, Nissan LEAF, Toyota Camry and the Volkswagen T-Roc.

The XC60 also walked away with the esteemed North American Utility of the Year Award earlier this year. Furthermore, Volvo was crowned for its smaller XC40 SUV at the Geneva Motor Show last month with the European Car of the Year award. The World Car of the Year award is the first for the Swedish automaker.

Håkan Samuelsson, President and CEO of Volvo Cars: “We are up against some tough competition, but this award for the XC60 shows that Volvo has the right combination of design, connectivity and safety that appeals to customers across the world.”

Previous World Car of the Year Winners

2017: Jaguar F-PACE

2016: Mazda MX-5

2015: Mercedes-Benz C-Class

2014: Audi A3

2013: Volkswagen Golf

2012: Volkswagen Up!

2011: Nissan Leaf

2010: Volkswagen Polo

2009: Volkswagen Golf

2008: Mazda2 / Mazda Demio

2007: Lexus LS460

2006: BMW 3-Series

2005: Audi A6

In addition to the WCOTY prize, tops cars were awarded in five other awards categories. Some of the deserving winners at this year’s World Car Awards are as follows:

2018 World Car Design Of The Year

range rover velar world car awards 2018

The World Car Design of the Year category is meant to highlight new vehicles with innovation and style that push established boundaries. For this award, cars had to compete with all the contenders competing in the other five award categories.

The Range Rover Velar walked away with the 2018 World Car Design of the Year award.

Prof. Dr Ralf Speth, Jaguar Land Rover CEO, commented on the win: “The Range Rover Velar is an outstanding, superior SUV. Compelling modernity, eye-catching design, innovative Touch Pro Duo infotainment technology and a clear focus on sustainability – what a combination. This product speaks for itself.”

2018 World Urban Car Of The Year

vw polo beats 2018

The newly released sixth generation Volkswagen Polo walked away with the 2018 World Urban Car Of The Year title. The Polo received the most votes from over 80 international jurors.

Klaus Bischoff, Head of Volkswagen Design: “Volkswagen is proud of this award for the Polo, which is one of the most successful small and compact vehicles in the world, with more than 14 million units sold. The sixth model generation, which started in autumn 2017, is even more mature and sportier than its predecessors.”

This award marks Volkswagen’s sixth World Car of the Year award win. Previous accolades include:

2009: Volkswagen Golf (World Car of the Year)

2010: Volkswagen Polo (World Car of the Year)

2010: Volkswagen BlueMotion (World Green Car of the Year)

2011: Volkswagen up! (World Car of the Year)

2013: Volkswagen Golf (World Car of the Year)

2018 World Green Car

Nissan LEAF world car awards

Nissan walked away with the Green Car of the Year award for its Leaf. The Nissan Leaf was the only fully-electric vehicle in the running. It came ahead of the BMW 530e iPerformance plug-in hybrid and the Chrysler Pacifica hybrid.

“We’re very proud that since Nissan LEAF launched in 2010, we’ve been able to put more than 300,000 zero-emission electric vehicles on the road worldwide, helping to reduce carbon footprints around the globe,” said Daniele Schillaci, Executive Vice President.

The Nissan LEAF won its third World Car award. It’s other two previous wins were:

2009: Nissan GT-R (World Performance Car)

2011: Nissan LEAF (World Car Of The Year title)

2018 World Performance Car

bmw m5 2018

Powered with the latest version of the 4.4-litre V8 engine with M Twin Power Turbo Technology, BMW’s new M5 beat the Honda Civic Type R and the Lexus LC 500 for the title of World Performance Car 2018.

“We at BMW are very excited to receive this award from the World Car of the Year organization. The BMW 5 Series has always played an important part of the BMW product portfolio. With this 6th generation BMW 5 Series we are able to offer our customers a broad range of variants ranging from the extremely efficient BMW 530e plug-in hybrid, all the way to the BMW M5, which is the quickest BMW ever built, reaching 0-60 in under 3.2 seconds.”

This is the seventh time that a BMW has won a World Car award. The German automaker’s other wins comprise of:

2006: BMW 3-Series (World Car of the Year)

2008: BMW 118d with Efficient Dynamics (World Green Car)

2014: BMW i3 (World Green Car)

2015: BMW i8 (World Green Car)

2016: BMW 7 Series (World Luxury Car award)

2017: BMW i3 (World Urban Car) 

2018 World Luxury Car

audi a8

Audi walked away with the title World Luxury Car 2018 for its flagship A8.

Peter Mertens, Board Member for Development at AUDI AG: “The new Audi A8 is an innovation driver for our entire industry. It sets new standards in automotive engineering with its innovative touch control system, consistent, broad electrification and the technical conditions for conditional automated driving.”

This win marks the ninth victory in the World Car Awards for the German automaker. Other Audi victories in the World Car Awards include:

2005: Audi A6 (World Car of the Year)

2007: Audi RS4 (World Performance Car)

2007: Audi TT (World Car Design of the Year)

2008: Audi R8 (World Performance Car)

2008: Audi R8 (World Car Design of the Year)

2010: Audi R8 V10 (World Performance Car)

2014: Audi A3 (World Car of the Year)

2016: Audi R8 (World Performance Car) 

World Car Awards Background

The World Car Awards is a highly competitive event which was first launched in January 2004. Its purpose is to reflect the reality of the global marketplace, in addition to recognizing and rewarding automotive excellence on an international scale. The World Car Awards intends to complement, not compete, with existing national and regional Car of the Year programs. Winners were selected based on votes from an international jury panel consisting of 82 top-level automotive journalists from 24 countries around the world. Jurors are selected by the World Car Steering Committee on the basis of his/her expertise, experience, credibility, and influence.

The New York International Auto Show has built the tradition with the World Car Awards to recognize the ‘best of the best’ in the auto industry. It was the 12th year of their partnership and winners are honoured at the show.


World Car Awards trophies

2018 World Car Awards ceremony at the Javits Center in Manhattan, NY March 28, 2018.
CREDIT: Kevin Hagen for The World Car Awards