• Feb 26th 2008 at 5:29PM
  • 18

With the New York Auto Show just around the corner in late March, the organization behind the "World Car of the Year" Awards has revealed its top three finalists. The top vehicles in each of four categories were chosen by an international panel of 47 automotive journalists reportedly committed to carrying out the process with the "...utmost objectivity, credibility, and integrity." Regardless of how spotless the chosen journalist's driving record is, it's still a subjective vote, so don't be dismayed if your favorite chunk of steel didn't make the list this year. Instead, be pleased that the majority of the vehicles are actually available in the States.

Last month, the list included ten vehicles in each category. This week, the distinguished panel whittled it down to three finalists in each category. Check out the finalists in Design, Performance Car and Green Car after the jump.
2008 World Car of the Year Finalists

Ford Mondeo
Mazda2 / Mazda Demio
Mercedes-Benz C-Class

2008 World Design of the Year

Audi R8
Mazda2 / Mazda Demio
Volvo C30

2008 World Performance Car


2008 World Green Car

BMW 118d with Efficient Dynamics
Volkswagen Passat 1.9 TDI

Past winners include the 2005 Audi A6, the 2006 BMW 3 Series, and the 2007 Lexus LS460. We'll be on the floor at the New York Auto Show on March 20 to bring you the winner for 2008. Anybody care to place any bets?

[Source: World Car of the Year]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      The US needs the Mazda2 and Mondeo, as well as those diesels.

      Here's to our market giving a big FU to awesome cars. ugh.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The Mazda2 should get it.

      Mondeo: The segment leader keeps up its lead.

      C-Class: Competent compact-executive stays competent but gets uglier.

      The Mazda2 is the only one that's undergone a radical transformation. Gone is the frumpy psuedo-MPV, in is one sexy hatch.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Nice job Ford. Three cars in four categories.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The Ford Mondeo, what's that? Oh yeah, that's the car Ford won't sell over here. Hell, even Top Gear rated it as the car of the year (well tied anyway).
      • 7 Years Ago
      The Mondeo really deserves to be there. Oh and not a GM crapmobile in sight!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Because the world is a big place. It's not based on unit sales in the
      US as any measure of qualiification into the awards as you are
      presuming for some reason.

      I'm sure many of these cars are not available in other parts of the
      world, but that is not an excuse to exclude them.

      Besides its a bit of a cheek to complain when the US can have "World
      Series Baseball" where the world ie everywhere but the US, is actaully not allowed to play! What is so "World Series" about that! Heck it doesn't even qualify as a proper North American competition.


      • 7 Years Ago

      They only two cars listed that are remotely exciting are the Audi R8 and the Volvo C30. Everything else is so very uninteresting.

      • 7 Years Ago
      interestingly, Australian car mag Wheels recently announced their 2007 car of the year and their final 3 was identical to the world car of the year finalists. the winner was the c-class
      • 7 Years Ago
      Just like the "World Series" seems to omit playing teams from other countries, "World Cars" should be sold... I dunno.... EVERYWHERE.

      Can we just have the Mazda 2 now? PLEASE??
        • 7 Years Ago
        From the World Car of the Year site: "To be eligible for a World Car award, the contender had to be in production, and sold, on at least two continents during 2008." So, these cars are on sale in Europe, Asia and/or Australia - maybe even South America and Africa.
      • 7 Years Ago
      for most of you who are unaware Ford will bring the Fiesta, which is based from the Mazda 2 and an actual Euro Focus in 2010. I don't know about the Mondeo, as much as I fell in love with the car after driving it overseas for over a month. Yes it does seriously anger me to see that Ford in NA does not give a rats a$$ about consumers here by offering nothing but bland garbage but bit¢hing about it will not make Ford hurry up any faster. Since they screwed up their finances by mismanagement and producing disasters after mistakes over many years it will most certainly take a lot of time and money that they don't have.

      Aside from that only time will tell if Ford will actually be smart and bring in some Euro and Australian Fords since they actually build the cars that people actually want to drive. Believe it or not the Ford brand is highly preferred overseas where as it's quite the opposite here, unless you are a Mustang or F series junkie.

      The only thing I think Ford has ever gotten right in NA was being the most reliable domestic brand. (Sorry but lame stories about your 86-89 Escort falling apart, exploding, or ruining your coolness factor in high school/college do not count.)

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