Audi, BMW, Kia, Toyota Lead World “Car-of-the-Year” Contenders

September 17, 2018 at 11:21 AM

The initial list of 35 vehicles vying for the 2019 World Car of the Year title includes four Audi models and three each from BMW, Kia and Toyota.

Leading the Audi contingent is the all-electric e-tron crossover vehicle that’s due to be unveiled on Tuesday in San Francisco. The group also includes the A1 and A6 cars and the Q3 crossover.

BMW’s trio features the next-generation 3 Series compact car, electric i8 Roadster and X2 small crossover. Kia’s contenders are the Ceed/Forte hatchback, Niro EV and Soul MPV. Toyota entries are the Avalon and Corolla sedans and RAV4 small crossover.

Six brands have two entries each on this year’s list: Hyundai (Nexo and Santa Fe), Jaguar (E-Pace and I-Pace), Jeep (Cherokee and Wrangler), Lexus (ES and UX), Nissan (Altima and Kicks) and Volvo (S60/V60 and XC40). Other nominees for the title are the Acura RDX, Cadillac XT4, Citroen C5 Aircross, Dacia Duster, Ford Focus, Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid, Infiniti QX50, SEAT Arona, Subaru Forester and Suzuki Jimny.

A juror of 85 international journalists will winnow the list down over the next several months. The overall Car of the Year—plus winners in the luxury, performance “green” and urban categories—will be announced next April at the New York auto show.

Eligible vehicles must be available on at least two continents. This year’s winner was the Volvo XC60 crossover.