Petite vehicles in the running for World Car of the Year 2013

It's a battle of the small hatchbacks for world domination after contenders for a prestigious award were announced this week.

The seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf, the Audi A3 plus the Mercedes-Benz A-Class, Peugeot 208 and Volvo V40 have made the list for the 2013 World Car of the Year award, to be announced at this year's New York motor show in April.

Mazda has two contenders in the finals - Mazda6 and C-X5 - while two sports cars have made the cut - Porsche's Boxster and Cayman twins and the Subaru BRZ/Toyota 86 clones.

Also in the running is the new Range Rover that has just arrived in New Zealand. The Golf is due here this month.


The list, selected in a secret ballot by a jury of 66 motoring journalists from around the world, will be culled to three finalists that will be announced at next month's Geneva motor show, before the winner is unveiled at New York.

Volkswagen is a serial winner in the awards, collecting the 2012 prize for its Up mini hatchback, after winning back-to-back awards in 2009 and 2010 with the previous Golf and Polo.

Other winners in recent years have been the Nissan Leaf (2011), Mazda2 (2008), Lexus LS460 (2007), BMW 3 Series (2006) and Audi A6 (2005).

Also to be announced at New York are the World Performance Car of the Year, World Green Car of the Year and World Car Design of the Year.

Performance category finalists are Aston Martin Vanquish, Audi RS5, BMW M6 Coupe/Convertible, BMW M135i, Ferrari F12 Berlinetta, Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG, Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster, Porsche Boxster/Cayman, Renault Clio Sport and the Subaru BRZ/Toyota 86.