What is the best car in the world? It’s all relative and subjective and thus, impossible to determine. But that doesn’t stop automotive journalists from trying.
52 automotive journalists representing each continent in the world (except Antarctica – Penguins can’t legally drive yet) have gotten together and submitted their top ten choices for World Car of the Year in two categories: Car of the Year and Performance Car of the Year. There will then be three finalists chosen for both categories.
Find out what car made the top ten and what our pics are for the finalists after the jump!
World Car of the Year:
- Audi Q5
- BMW X1
- Chevrolet Cruze
- Kia Soul
- Mercedes-Benz E-Class
- Buick Regal (including the Opel/Vauxhaul/Insignia versions)
- Porsche Panamera
- Toyota Prius
- Volkswagen Polo
- Volkswagen Polo – The little hatchback that could. This car is offered in many different engine variants across the world including VW’s superb diesel, which makes it quite the fuel miser. It is one of the few cars that is perfectly suited for any market, it has great looks, quality and performance which makes it an excellent global car.
- Mazda3 – While we’re not big on the new face lifted version, that doesn’t take away from it’s class leading performance. There is simply no other vehicle in its segment that can match it, and is one of the few that offers a versatile hatch option for the ultimate pocket rocket for families.
- BMW X1 – BMW is one in a very rare group of automakers that can actually make SUV’s fun to drive. This smallest offering has both great looks matched with BMW’s obsession for perfectly balanced handling. While we likely won’t get a manual transmission option in North America, it is indeed offered elsewhere across the world, along with many different engine options. This is probably one of the few SUV’s that could make us seriously consider buying one.
World Performance Car of the Year:
- Aston Martin V12 Vantage
- Audi R8 V10
- Audi TTS Coupe/Roadster
- BMW Z4
- Ferrari California
- Jaguar XFR
- Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG
- Nissan 370Z
- Porsche 911 GT3
- Porsche Boxter/Cayman
- Aston Martin V12 Vantage – A lot of people don’t consider the Vantage to be a true Aston because it’s ‘so small’ and is the poseur of the family. The V8 version making 380 horsepower is definitely nothing to sneeze at, but this V12 silences all the critics. It’s incredibly fast and agile, all while being very comfy without sacrificing performance or luxury. It’s also quite possibly one of the prettiest cars in the world.
- Audi R8 V10 – Again, the regular version of this vehicle could easily be nominated, but the truly astonishing version is the hardcore performance oriented V10. Jeremy Clarkson – who is probably the harshest automotive journalist in the entire world said that he could honestly find no faults with this vehicle. And that’s like the Queen admitting that she’s a fan of NWA. It just never happens. That alone should give the R8 V10 the award, but after personally seeing the R8 handle itself sublimely in a blizzard without hesitation, we can say that this is truly the best year round supercar. Period.
- BMW Z4 – This is the best looking Z4 so far, but it’s softer. This would ordinarily be a bad thing, but with this new Z4 it isn’t. It’s somehow still just as poised and composed and can do induce a smile on your face just about every time you get behind the wheel all while keeping you comfy for the ride. This makes it a very livable daily driver, especially now that it comes in a hard top for all weather conditions. Get yourself the sport suspension and the is version and you are in for one hell of a treat.