Skip to main content

World Car of the Year 2021 Shortlist Announced

22 March 2021 AutoMarket, Tips & Advice

Awards season isn’t just for showbiz, you know.

The World Car Awards are the Oscars of the automotive world, established back in 2005. This event recognises and celebrates the crème de la crème that car manufacturers have to offer each year. There are various categories, the most prestigious of which is undeniably the World Car of the Year.  Several key criteria are examined by the panel in determining the winner, including quality, sales and marketability.

So, what are the top contenders that made this year’s cut? Here are the World Car of the Year nominees hoping to drive home with the coveted 2021 title.

1. Audi A3

An athletic build fully loaded with a suite of technological features – this is what earned the Audi A3 its nomination. The sedan version stands out with its sporty, stylish exterior and a modern, driver-oriented interior, while the Sportback boasts an all-electric drive and zero local emissions.

2. BMW 2-series Gran Coupé

‘Not a typical coupé but rather an incredible experience’. This was BMW’s vision for the 2-series Gran Coupé. Visually stunning, the first ever 2-series Gran Coupé features a contoured physique accentuated by a narrow glasshouse and frameless doors. Physically, it has the same sporty feel that is characteristic of BMW. Its integrated iDrive infotainment system is the best in its class. Inside, it offers a touchscreen display, along with a rotary dial controller on the centre console.

3. BMW 4-series

The second entry from the iconic German manufacturer, the BMW 4-series is characterised by expressive design, unparalleled dynamics and superior driving comfort. Its sporty yet elegant physique commands attention on the road. The 4-series performs as you would expect – with power, agility and stability. The ride is enhanced by the optional Adaptive M suspension and the efficient TwinPower Turbo engines. Its generous head and leg room make for a comfortable transit even at full capacity.

4. Honda-e

Electric cars are the future, and the one that’s turned heads this year is the Honda-e, the Japanese car firm’s first-ever electric car. What makes it special is its unique combination of dynamic performance, refined comfort, and futuristic technology. It has a max range capacity that goes up to 220 kilometres and can be charged in as little as 31 minutes.

5. Kia K5/Optima

The Kia K5 is another strong contender for the World Car of the Year prize. With its driver-oriented cockpit, advanced technology, stability-enhancing wide-track suspension, all-weather drive options, turbocharged engines and all-new platform – this mid-size sedan will make you fall back in love with driving.

6. Kia Sorento

Kia’s second entry this year, the Sorento offers incomparable 7-seat luxury. This family SUV is far from your average people carrier, with its contemporary and classy build and strong road presence. Its spacious interior can comfortably accommodate up to seven passengers. The Sorento has plenty of advanced safety highlights, including Blind Spot View Monitor, Parking Collision Avoidance Assist, Junction Assist and Multi Collision Brake.

7. Mazda MX-30

The all-new, all-electric Mazda MX-30 is one of 2021’s most anticipated releases. Designed to meet the needs of urban families, this SUV prioritises comfort and safety. At a glance, its design highlights the beauty of simplicity, with minimalist curves and a friendly face. Its modern, hi-tech interior matches its sleek exterior, and every model comes loaded with kit. Power up whether you’re at home or on the go with its flexible charging options for every lifestyle.

8. Mercedes-Benz GLA

The Mercedes-Benz GLA is marketed as the ideal driving companion for the younger generation. This compact SUV features a progressive, sporty design that gives a sense of dynamism and elegance from every angle. Its highlights include high ground clearance, side door streamers, 17-inch alloy rims, as well as front and rear chrome underguards on the exterior and the entertainment system. It is powered by a 1.6-2-litre gasoline engine with an output range of 122-381 hp under 200-475 Nm of torque.

9. Toyota Yaris

It was only a matter of time before Toyota staked their claim to this year’s top spot. The new, mega stylish Toyota Yaris Luna is athletic, efficient and powerful. This hatchback has already earned plenty of accolades since its release, which makes it hot competition for the rest. It is the perfect city car, designed for urban lifestyles. Its five-passenger cabin features a 7-inch touchscreen display for infinite entertainment options. Performance wise, it is kitted out with a 1.3-litre Dual VVT-i 4-cylinder gasoline engine coupled to a 5-speed manual.

10. Volkswagen ID.4

No surprise, the unassailable Volkswagen is a regular in the World Car of the Year rankings. And when it comes to the ID.4, last is most certainly not least. This purely electric, urban SUV is aesthetically stunning, with a smooth and futuristic body that makes an impact wherever it goes. A single battery charge will keep you going for up to 500km, which is highly convenient for busy drivers. Enjoy panoramic views with a huge glass panel that stretches over the entire width of the roof, offering an unobstructed view of the sky above for your passengers.

So, who do you think deserves to wear the World Car of the Year crown in 2021? Have any key contenders been snubbed? The winner will be announced on the 20th of April, so keep your eyes peeled. And if you’re in the market for a car of your own, make sure to check out Motor Matcher.

At Motor Matcher, everything we do is modelled around providing customers with the right tools and empowering them with rich information, helping them make sound decisions when buying and selling cars. We offer a faster, simpler way to compare new and used cars online, creating an ideal and safe marketplace for all car buyers and sellers.

Visit our website today at