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2016 World Car of the Year Awards

By raccars Published

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The Audi A4 is among the favourites to take the top honours in the World Car of the Year awards, with the winners due to be revealed at next month's New York International Auto Show. The awards are decided by a judging panel of 73 respected automotive journalists from 23 different countries and are given in five different categories: World Car of the Year, World Luxury Car, World Performance Car, World Car Design of the Year and World Green Car.

World Car of the Year

This year the Audi A4 is up against the Mazda MX-5 and the #Mercedes GLC for the overall World Car of the Year award. The latest A4 is finally proving a serious challenger to its long-time rivals, the [BMW 3 Series](http://www.raccars.co.uk/used-bmw/3 Series/) and the Mercedes Benz C-Class, thanks to its beautifully finished cabin, great driving dynamics and an impressive array of modern technology.

On the outside there are no major changes from the previous model but it's more user friendly. That may not be enough to overcome the delights of the latest generation Mazda MX-5, back and better than ever for affordable, engaging performance. Simplicity has always been the key to the MX-5's success and Mazda has sensibly decided not to tamper with that formula, although some buyers may lament the lack of a high performance range-topping model.

The third finalist for the overall World Car award is the Mercedes-Benz GLC, the first medium sized SUV from the German brand to be available in the UK. The GLC is smart, refined and economical. It's expensive and arguably almost too civilised for some but will have huge appeal in a busy market segment.

World Luxury Car

The Audi Q7, [BMW 7 Series](http://www.raccars.co.uk/used-bmw/7 Series/) and the Volvo XC90 are head-to-head in this category, but the second generation of the Swedish SUV has been a massive hit and will be hard to beat. The new XC90 excels in all of the key areas: build quality, safety equipment, efficiency, ride quality, style and technology. The Audi Q7 is another luxury SUV which has been overhauled to be lighter, more economical and more technologically advanced, but is arguably less elegant than the Volvo. The big SUVs are up against the supremely luxurious BMW 7 Series, a super sophisticated saloon.

World Performance Car

Finalists in the performance category are the Honda Civic Type R, the Audi R8, and the Mercedes-AMG C 63 Coupe. The R8 has been brought fully up to date and remains one of the more user friendly supercars, and of course it still looks stunning. The sleek Mercedes Coupe is a serious and very grown up rival to the BMW M4. Both are very different to the Honda Civic Type R, a brutish hot hatch for a really thrilling ride - it's a boy racer's dream.

World Green Car

This category is hotting up, with more and more good quality entrants to choose from every year. The Chevrolet Volt is a range extender hybrid which has been updated to provide more power and a greater range. It compares well to the petrol-electric Toyota Prius but the zero emissions Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell car is the most interesting contender in this category.

World Car Design 2016

Three very different finalists are competing in the design category. The stunning Jaguar XE, which is shaking up the premium compact executive sector, is up against the practical Mazda CX-3 crossover and the aforementioned Mazda MX-5.

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