The exciting news for Mercedes-Benz this morning was that the brand won World Green Car of the Year for their S250 CDI BlueEfficiency at the 2012 New York Auto Show. But the car that every journalist and photographer at the Jacob Javits Center was trying to snap a picture of today was the VolkswagenUp! which won “World Car of The Year”. This is the third time a Volkswagen has won the award, the last two being the 2010 Polo and 2009 Golf VI.
In total, thirty-four new vehicles made the list of candidates for World Car of the Year from around the world. The list was then narrowed down to ten, then a final three: the Volkswagen Up!, BMW 3 Series and the Porsche 911. This year, practicality won out over glitz – the Volkswagen Up! is practical, economical and easy to navigate on city streets.
In awarding the prize, the international journalists that make up the World Car of the Year jury observed that the Volkswagen has become more than just a city car. “The little Volkswagen Up! has altered what we have come to expect from the citycar segment. Of note are the responsive steering, sophisticated suspension setup, new efficient engines and the quality of materials and finish. ”Never before in this economy segment have owners felt so premium,” they concluded.
Other winners include Porsche’s new 991-series, which had more formidable competition as it won World Performance Car of the Year, beating out the Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4and McLaren’s MP4-12C. Mercedes-Benz’s S250 CDI BlueEfficiency won World Green Car of the Year, besting the Ford Focus Electric and Peugeot 3008 Hybrid. And Land Rover’s Range Rover Evoque took top honors for the World Car Design of the Year.
To be eligible for the overall World Car award, the candidates had to have been available for sale on at least two continents during the period beginning January 1, 2011 and ending May 30, 2012.
Vehicles were selected and voted on by an international jury panel comprised of sixty-four top-level automotive journalists from twenty-five countries around the world. Each juror was appointed by the World Car Steering Committee on the basis of his or her expertise, experience, credibility, and influence, and each typically drives and evaluates new vehicles on a regular basis as part of their professional work.
Previous World Car of the Year winners were the Nissan Leaf in 2011, the Mazda2 / Mazda Demio in 2008, the Lexus LS460 in 2007, the BMW 3-Series in 2006, and the Audi A6 in 2005.