Loading indicator
News & Reviews
Last 7 Days

The finalists for the World Car of the Year have been announced at the Geneva motor show, and the top three could barely be more different.

The pint-sized Volkswagen Up! hatchback will take on the sixth-generation BMW 3-Series executive sedan and the new Porsche 911 sports coupe.

The three finalists were narrowed down from a shortlist of 10 cars that included newly launched models like the Audi Q3, Chevrolet Volt and the Ford Focus.

The winner will be announced at next month’s New York auto show after the votes of 66 automotive journalists from 25 countries – including two from Australia – are tallied.

Small cars have dominated in recent years, with past winners including the Nissan Leaf (2011), Volkswagen Polo (2010), Volkswagen Golf (2009) and the Mazda2 (2008). The previous-generation BMW 3-Series took home the award in 2006.

On top of its overall World Car of the Year nomination, the 911 is also a finalist in the World Performance Car of the Year category. This is the sixth year in the past seven that Porsche has had a finalist in the performance class, and follows victory for the Cayman S in 2006.

The 991-series Porsche 911 goes up against the Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 and the McLaren MP4-12C in the race for the 2012 award. Shortlisted sports cars that were culled at the final hurdle include the BMW M5, Ferrari FF and the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe Black Series.

The Ford Focus Electric, Mercedes-Benz C250 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY and Peugeot 3008 Hybrid will go head-to-head for the World Green Car of the Year award, while the Citroen DS5, Range Rover Evoque and Volkswagen Up! are in the running win the World Car of the Year design award.

Who do you think deserves to win? Let us know in the comments section below.

2012 World Car of the Year finalists:

  • BMW 3-Series
  • Porsche 911
  • Volkswagen Up!

2012 World Performance Car of the Year finalists:

  • Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4
  • McLaren MP4-12C
  • Porsche 911

2012 World Green Car of the Year finalists:

  • Ford Focus Electric
  • Mercedes-Benz C250 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY
  • Peugeot 3008 Hybrid

2012 World Car of the Year design finalists:

  • Citroen DS5
  • Range Rover Evoque
  • Volkswagen Up!

  • Guest00

    This is more like the Euro’s car of the year rather than the world car of the year. Given the massive car import protection over there, they don’t have much exposure other than to Euro cars and most of the judges in this award are from there, no surprises that all of the cars in the list are Europeans’.

    • Phil

      Civic, Nissan GTR and Leaf, Mazda 2, Lexus LS460, Chevy Camero and Volt – all non euro cars that have won in the past 6 years.

      • Tsp

        World Car of the Year (WCOTY) (French: Prix mondial de la Voiture de l’année)

        There are 24 World Car of the Year winners under different categories since 2006.

        Nissan belongs to Renault.

        • AndyGF

          “Nissan belongs to Renault.”

          Cant have it both ways, every time I try tell them that I get an ear-full… Its a partnership they tell me.

    • FanBoi

      VW UP is just an new gen Lupo.

  • Tingold

    Isn’t the Carsguide boss Paul Gover a judge too? He should be pushing for the Australian cars.

    • Phil

      Aside from the fact that the Australian cars are not up to scratch, they have to be “world” cars (ie: sold in more than one or two countrys).

      • Dave S

        Imagine the contraversy at Ford HQ in the US is the Falcon LPI or Ecoboost won / got nominated for an award.

    • UMWHAT

      who’s he gonna nominate? the falcon or commodore? they’d laugh in his face 

      • theillestlife

         correction, point and laugh!


      • Dave S

        Caprice – The caprice has recieved awards international before. I sure there is also a value for money equation in there too, otherwise VW would never have won.

  • Ki

    If only there was a new model Golf in time for this (which would inevitably be a finalist), then it would be an epic showdown between the three quintessential long-running German model lines.

  • Tom

    911, 911, Benz, Rangey!!!!

  • Barry

    Just shows how little these awards really mean.2010 winner VW Polo one of the most unreliable cars ever sold in Australia.

    • Golfschwein

      The proof, Barry, the proof. Come on. Stop dragging shyte out o’ yer behind. Stay on the Toymota pages if they’re what you prefer.

      • Jinnzhang

        I have one. In workshop 4 times in 1 month. Is this what you wanted? What is your proof that it is reliable?

        • Golfschwein

          Unfortunate, Jinnzhang. At least it’s a real world experience, a little like my former Camry’s expired gearbox and head gasket at 45 thou’. Sadly, you might not be as better off as some here may think with a Hilux diesel or a Patrol wagon. Or an iLoad. Or i30. You can google problems on just about anything.

    • Kd

      Where is your proof to back up your bullish!t statement?

      • Barry

        Just presented the facts,but however Caradvise will not publish it.

    • Stevess

      Maybe an 06-08 model but 2010 model. Are you sure. Like the others baz, wheres the proof

  • Troll Buster

     Baz you troll

  • T123

    Who chooses the awards, journalists or the public? Can’t see the criteria its judged on, difficult to see why others are left out.

    • F1MotoGP

      Just go to wcoty website.


  • theillestlife

    2012 World Car of the Year finalists: Porsche 911

    2012 World Performance Car of the Year finalists: McLaren MP4-12C

    2012 World Green Car of the Year finalists: Mercedes-Benz C250 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY

    2012 World Car of the Year design finalists: Range Rover Evoque


    • Aa

      Irrelevant. Just forget about it.

  • Shak

    I know i’m going to sound like a GM fanboy, but how can the Volt be nominated in the overall category but then not at all in the finalists for the green car category? The Volt is a statement for future efficiency in cars. The three finalists are just evolved versions of existing cars, essentially just made a little bit more efficient. I’m not saying they are bad cars, they aren’t, but if this award is going to reward automakers for actual achievement then there are other cars out there that deserve it more.

    • Aa

      They just pick who they wanna pick loool

  • gt86.com.au

    They Euros love their little 0.8L 3 cylinder shopping trolleys.. My bet is on the VW Up to win!

    • Euro

      Better technology in that Euro 800 cc 3 cylinder car than in
      your ‘Australian’ US GM car. And, yes most of us Euro people like our Euro
      cars. I purchased one Holden car and had one Holden company car never ever

  • Danielsydney

    Go Citroen. The DS5 has go to win this category for sure.

  • Luke Brinsmead

    Considering the Volkswagen Up! is the only car to be a finalist in more than one category, it should win overall. Plus it’s very affordable and relatively sustainable transport for the world’s driving population.

  • Davidjh

    Where is the BRZ?