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by Jez Spinks

Five hatchbacks, one medium car, two SUVs and two sets of sports car twins that include the Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ are among the finalists announced for the 2013 World Car of the Year award.

The distinguished list of contenders for the award that will declare its winner at the 2013 Geneva motor show in March include the Audi A3, Mercedes-Benz A-Class, Volkswagen Golf, Volvo V40, Mazda CX-5, Mazda6, Porsche Boxster and Cayman, and the 86 and BRZ.

The final 10 were chosen by 66 international motoring writers via secret ballot.

The same journalists must now assess each car again ahead of final voting later this month (February).

Volkswagen will have high hopes for its seventh-generation Golf after a number of recent successes for the brand in the award. The outgoing Golf won in 2009 and was followed by the Polo in 2010 and the Up! last year.

The Nissan Leaf electric car broke the German company’s run with victory in 2011.

The two Porsches and the 86 and BRZ Japanese coupes are also among the top 10 finalists for the 2013 World Performance Car of the Year chosen by the same group of writers.

Other performance contenders comprise the Aston Martin Vanquish, Audi RS5, BMW M6, BMW M135i, Ferrari F12 Berlinetta, Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG, Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster and Renault Clio Sport.


  • Zaccy16

    The golf will get the gong again i think and deservedly so, mazda 6 will be close though!

    • Sydlocal

       Don’t discount the Toybaru…

  • LowRezFez

    My money is on the Toybaru twins. Given the likely Euro biases the Golf may get up.

  • VWudi

    If theGolf wins, so too will the A3 – they are the same cars!!

    • Darryl

      A3 won What Car? COTY award, not the Golf, as we might have expected. Mind you they gave it to the Rover 75 once.

  • Al Tungupon

    Why isn’t the F30 3 Series included? It will probably be the 86/BRZ twins or the Golf then.

  • Golfschwein

    It’s funny to see the hyper-ventilating negativity of the usual suspects here. Talk about fuses blowing, and the winner hasn’t even been announced yet! I’m not surprised to see any of the finalists listed here. Know why? Because they’re all damned good cars! The best of the 2012 crop, according to 66 international experts. 

    If the Not Happy Jans have a better suggestion, email these guys. Tell ’em about the G6E with its identical bore spacings to its 1960 ancestor and see how you get on. Good luck! Sour grapes, all of you.

  • Golfschwein

    OH! OH! OH! I forgot to mention my conspiracy theory. Yes, yes, I have a conspiracy theory! Nyuk nyuk.

  • Sam

    I hope the Mazda CX-5 wins.  Mazda is building good looking, high quality cars these days.  They are affordable and reliable to boot.  The CX-5 could be on the shopping list of a buyer with any budget, in my opinion it really is that good.

  • LowRezFez

    Grave robber, welcome to the world of commercial automotive journalism. Given their reliance on advertising you are never going to get a brutally honest picture of the ownership experience. Others have tried… Remember Peter Wherret? He was unemployable after taking a consumer advocacy stance on Torque. Choice magazine is useless on this topic and there is the Dog and Lemon guide that is not too bad. This website is just like Wheels, they tell you how it drives, and how cool the tech is… But zero about what the ownership experience is.

  • Guest12

    Yeah everyone’s wrong and you’re right.
    What a loser you are

  • Claude_defraud

    So why are VW growing so fast?
    Maybe they aren’t but just bribing journalists to report it that way.
    Or maybe they’re secretly bribing people to buy their cars.
    It’s a conspiracy I tell you.
    Robin your are a complete nutter.

  • Robin_Graves

    See my ranking ?
    Means I’m currently a Top Ten Dlckhead  on this site.
    But I’m aiming for NO.1….coz I deserve it, don’t you think ?

  • Robin_Graves

    Julian Edgar is another prime example. Shunned for telling it like it is. Its a misnomer calling them journalists, just an extension of the marketing department. 

  • SuperChar

    Somehow I don’t think journalists would want to judge “car of the year” over the whole year (better things to do hey Jez?)

    Many years ago the P76 won car of the year.  I wont rehash the issues with that particular car but perhaps that was the start of the underhand kickbacks. This is not a new problem and I doubt it will ever really go away.  Car of the year is more about innovation and subjective matters like style, performance and handling.  If you want to validate quality and ownership experience, JD Power is the place to go.

  • Gazza

    VW are the masters of trickery, they are the worst at reliability always down the bottom of any customer based satisfaction survey and one of the worst at resale values, why anyone would buy one is beyond me!

  • Golfmother

    What robin forgets is we all travel O/S so much these days, and we realise what a waste big cars are , the rest of the world survives on smaller cars , so can we .

    Then we get the myth of special conditions , our roads are the worst , rubbish , eastern euro’s are far worse , but GM/FORD created this fairy tale to brainwash us for 50 years , you will never get spares , more myths .

    Word of mouth sells more cars than journalists .

  • Robin_Graves

    The P76 winning car of the year (it was the V8 model) was not as bad as the Camira winning it a few years later.  What a horror story that was.

  • Guest12

    Yes VW buyers must all be morons, not nearly as intelligent as you or Robin.
    All those judges that awarded VW World Car of the Year 3 times in the past 4 yrs but also be of very low intelligence…oops sorry, they’re corrupt, that’s right.

  • Guest12

    Educate yourself Gazza.
    VW Golf has better resale value after 3 yrs than Mazda 3 & Ford Focus.
    Passat is equal to Honda Euro and better than Liberty & Mondeo.
    Touareg is equal top of class & better than LR Discovery. -source: drive.
    Resale value gives a truer indication of a vehicles quality than petty hearsay from trolls on forums.

  • SuperChar

    Hehe, yes – the camira was a lifetime lemon

  • Hung Low

    I really looked forward to his honest no bull reviews. Looks like the only way he will get to review a car these days is if he hires them.

  • Golfmother

    Along with the crummer VB , VH , VK , lemonade .

  • Sumpguard

      Speaking of lemons.

    “Volkswagen’s Australian boss has acknowledged customer concerns surrounding vehicle quality and servicing costs.The managing director of Volkswagen Australia, Anke Koeckler, admits being concerned by customer feedback and a study that ranked Volkswagen last in a study of Australian car buyers last year.”

  • Sumpguard

    Speaking of word of mouth.

     “Volkswagen’s Australian boss has acknowledged customer concerns surrounding vehicle quality and servicing costs.The managing director of Volkswagen Australia, Anke Koeckler, admits being concerned by customer feedback and a study that ranked Volkswagen last in a study of Australian car buyers last year.”

  • Zaccy16

    You think vw reliability is bad do you? Well why in the uk JD power server rank vw 8th and skoda 4th out of all manufactures for 2012!

  • Golfschwein

    Sumpguard, it’s okay. Really, it’s okay. It’s okay. Like shoulder pads and frosted lippy, this is a bad look for you. It’s actually becoming sad. 

    Personally, as a fan of the brand, I have no qualms whatsoever about Ms Koeckler coming out and saying this about Volkswagen. I think it’s laudable, in fact. Perhaps it’s the woman’s touch, connected with how and what people are feeling, and actually doing something about it.

    It’s obvious that there’s been a rate of return on DSG gearboxes and 118tsi engines. I have no problem acknowledging it. It would have been nice if these things didn’t happen and, yes, you have to wonder how they do, given car makers test their stuff in a way that owners are unlikely to.  We never saw Holden’s boss come out and admit that the first Gen III V8s were destroying themselves left, right and centre. Toyota’s boss has NEVER, EVER come out and admitted that their manual gearbox synchros were weak, or that their head gaskets are made of mouse fur, or that RAV4 auto trannies were routinely expiring at 70,000 km, or that, courtesy of dodgy injectors and weak clutches, current model Hilluxes are giving their owners somewhat, erm….LESS of a feeling than they were expecting – with Landcruisers faring not much better.

    Renault Scenic RX4 manual boxes expired around the 70,000 km mark. KIA Carnival motors ditto. D40 Navaras? Nightmare, allround. Mitsubishi, some years ago now, had such a culture of covering their cars’ defects, that it went on for decades until someone exposed their little lie. Google Hyundai i30 automatic transmission problems. Oopsies! The list goes on, and on, and on.

    None of these manufacturers have ever unbuttoned their lips and said, “Sheesh, sorry folks, we know about this and we’re going to try and improve”.

     So, get some maturing salts into you, man up and try – for Chrissake, just try! – to see some good in it.

  • Sumpguard

    I’d expect it looks  sad to a VW salesperson. Especially one who continually jumps on the Goofmother bandwagon. You reap what you sow in this world I believe. She has spent the past two years in this forum slamming everything not VW as poorly built.

       Meanwhile Donkey has simply stalked the Hyundai/Kia threads for a troll and is now in complete denial about what this woman is actually claiming. These are customer issues. The perception comes hot on the heels of the actual issues. To suggest otherwise is total rubbish.

      Hyundai came out years ago after the excel had a suspension strut issue (on 4 cars world wide) and said they will do better so your claims that Vee Dud are the first are typical VW fanboi rot. 

       Maturity means admitting something is wrong. You may want to pass some of those salts to Goofmother , Donkey and Zaccy.

       ….and I’ll quote it as many times as I like. Maybe all the truth published in these blogs has finally forced VW’s hand to deliver a better quality product? So man up for chrissake and try to see some good in it!!  

    ….and speaking of google,, perhaps a quick search of VW Golf injector issues will cast some light on my claims too 😉

  • Jacob

    “We have no idea why people buy our cars”. Now that is what you call honesty from a man. I think it was Chrysler in 2011 or 2012.

    So no, WV was not the first to admit they have a problem. And VW is no Merc…just because it is from the same country.