Mazdas, Porsches, and Kias! Oh my!
The turbulent nature of the spring meant that the World Car Awards flew under a lot of radars. Originally scheduled to be announced at the International Auto Show, announcements regarding the prestigious car competition were instead broadcasted digitally.
Porsche and Mazda were the big names to watch this year, and both featured some quality contenders. Of particular note is the Mazda3, a fan-favorite that's garnered widespread praise for its smooth, minimalistic design. This year is also the 100-year anniversary of Mazda's founding, giving a certain significance to their three well-received contenders present in the nominations. Another crowd favorite is the Kia Soul EV, an all-electric vehicle that's difficult to find outside of Asia because demand there has been so high.
Nominees for the competition's five categories were voted upon by a panel of 86 jurors. It's worth noting that jurors are only allowed to cast ballots for cars that they've actively driven. The first round of ballots comes from jurors ranking every car on the nomination list by category. Afterward, they're asked to score the first round's winners on a variety of attributes including design, safety, performance, value for cost, and more.
This year's voting also limits World Car of the Year eligibility to cars that cost less than $150,000. This move is seen as a reaction to Jaguar's I-Pace sweeping the awards last year and fears that Porsche's Taycan would do the same. Although the Taycan clinched the World Luxury Car award, winners of the other categories were vehicles celebrated for their accessibility and economy.
The Kia Telluride ultimately clinched the 2020 World Car of the Year with the Mazda3 and Mazda CX-30 closing out the award's Top 3. Ultimately, the Mazda3 would go on to win World Car Design of the Year.
2020 has been an unusual year. It seems almost logical that the awards for the world's most prestigious car would also feature a break from tradition. This year's awards have been a departure from mainly celebrating expensive luxury vehicles, and the push towards embracing consumer cars as a new artistic frontier for the medium is a promising one.