Last year it was the Volkswagen Golf, the year before it was the Volkswagen Up!, and in 2011 it was the Nissan Leaf. The World Car of the Year is chosen annually and announced at a press conference hosted by the New York International Auto Show and Bridgestone Corporation - and this year, the winner was the Audi A3.
A notable achievement
The World Car of the Year is quite a title to win, and one that the automaker hasn't been given since 2005 with the A6. Still, this isn't the first time that Audi has made its way into the World Car Awards program. In fact, the automaker has already won a total of seven times, including two World Car Design of the Year Titles in 2007 and 2008, and three World Performance Car titles in 2007, 2008 and 2010. The brand has built a strong reputation and seen significant growth in recent years. The Big 3 automaker is known for including advanced technologies in its lineup, as well as offering cars that are long-lasting and require minimal maintenance and auto repair.
How was the A3 chosen? An international jury panel of 69 auto journalists, each of which was named by the World Car Steering Committee based on their levels of credibility, influence and expertise, was assembled to vote on the vehicles. The Audi A3 was up against some tough competition, too. An original entry list of 24 vehicles was narrowed down to 12 and then ultimately, three options. The other two finalists were the Mazda 3 and the BMW 4 Series.
A high-tech edge
So why did the A3 win out?
"It might borrow styling hints from its bigger brothers, but the A3 still offers classic, chiseled contours and even better interior trim levels," explained the World Car Awards jurors. "With a superb choice of engines and 4 body styles, the A3 range packs a hefty premium punch in the small luxury segment. Audi should be complimented for making this A3 ride like no other A3. All the old shimmer over rough surfaces has gone, replaced by a silky smooth ride that approaches limousine quality."
Unsurprisingly, the brand couldn't be more proud of this win. Rupert Stadler, chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG, noted that the A3 is a perfect example of the automaker's superior craft?smanship, particularly in regard to mobile infotainment, drivetrain and driver assistance systems. Meanwhile, according to The Detroit News, Audi of America President Scott Keogh pointed out that the A3 boasts some impressive modern features, such as 4G connectivity and integrated Google Earth, which set the vehicle apart from other options.