Finalists for the 2024 World Car Awards participated in compiling this year's shortlist.

The next stage in the 2024 World Car Awards (WCA) competition has been announced, with the unveiling of the finalists for this year's prestigious car industry prize. The judges that picked the top 10 comprised more than 100 leading motoring journalists from 29 countries across the globe and included's editor, Shane O' Donoghue.

The winner of the overall prize will be announced at the New York International Auto Show on 27 March, while five category winners will also be awarded their prizes.

The contenders for the main prize include five electric cars and five SUVs, while manufacturers from China, Germany, Japan, Korea and the USA are represented. What's more, eight out of the 10 are either on sale already or due to go on sale in Ireland this year.

2024 World Car of the Year finalists

In alphabetical order, the 10 contenders for the overall title include the BYD Seal, which is a close rival to the Tesla Model 3. The Ford Bronco isn't sold in Ireland, but this US market 4x4 is closely related to the one-tonne Ranger pickup.

The second-generation Hyundai Kona is nominated for its entire line-up, including hybrid and all-electric variants, while Hyundai earns a second nomination in the shape of the striking new Santa Fe seven-seat SUV.

Large SUVs are a popular choice this year, with Hyundai's sibling firm Kia earning a nomination for its new EV9 seven-seat electric flagship. Another seven-seat model that's been nominated is the Mazda CX-90, a car that's sold in the US, Australia and the Middle East, but there are no plans for it to come to these shores (there will be a seven-seat CX-80 launched this year, but that is a different vehicle). A car that is available is the Subaru Crosstrek, which is the Japanese firm's replacement for the XV crossover hatchback, while the latest Toyota Prius also earns a nomination. Another Tesla Model 3 rival that's been nominated is the Volkswagen ID.7, while the Volvo EX30 small electric crossover rounds out the nominations.

Read our BYD Seal reviews
Read our Hyundai Kona reviews
Read our Hyundai Santa Fe reviews
Read our Kia EV9 reviews
Read our Toyota Prius reviews
Read our Volkswagen ID.7 reviews
Read our Volvo EX30 reviews

Five more categories

The five other categories that make up the World Car Awards cover a range of classes. For the World Electric Vehicle prize, the five nominees are the new electric BMW 5 Series (called the i5), the Kia EV9, the Mercedes EQE SUV, the Volkswagen ID.7 and Volvo EX30. These five cars were chosen from a full list of 32 electric models.

Read our BMW i5 reviews
Read our Mercedes EQE SUV review

The World Luxury Car nominees were whittled down from 13 cars to five finalists, with the new BMW 5 Series and i5 going up against the quirky Lexus LM luxury MPV and a trio of Mercedes: the CLE coupe, the latest generation E-Class and the electric EQE SUV.

Read our Mercedes CLE review
Read our Mercedes E-Class reviews

For the World Performance Car category, 17 cars competed for a nomination, and the finalists comprise the BMW M2 Coupe and XM flagship performance SUV, the Ferrari Purosangue SUV, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 N and the Porsche Cayenne Turbo E-Hybrid - not that long ago it would've been unheard of to have an EV or an SUV in the performance car category, but here we are.

Read our BMW M2 reviews
Read our BMW XM reviews
Read our Hyundai Ioniq 5 N review
Read our Porsche Cayenne reviews

Small cars are recognised in the World Urban Car class, with five finalists picked from seven cars on the full list. The Abarth 500e will aim for victory where the Fiat 500 on which it's based failed to succeed, while BYD earns another nomination, this time for the compact Dolphin EV. The Lexus LBX is an upmarket small car that uses the same hybrid running gear as the 2022 World Urban Car winner, the Toyota Yaris Cross, while the Suzuki Fronx is a small crossover that shares running gear with the Swift supermini, but is built and sold in India, and exported to South America, the Middle East, Africa and Australia. The final Urban Car nomination goes to the Volvo EX30.

Read our BYD Dolphin reviews

The final award is for car design. The World Car Design of the Year category is open to all the finalists mentioned above, with the shortlist whittled down by a panel of leading car designers, including former Renault stylist Patrick le Quement and the UK's Frank Stephenson. The five cars the panel chose were the Ford Bronco, Ferrari Purosangue, Toyota Prius, Volvo EX30 and the Zeekr X, a Chinese compact electric SUV that shares its running gear with the Smart #1.

Read our Zeekr X review

Ahead of the winner being announced in New York in March, the World Car Awards panel will reveal the Top Three in the World at the Geneva motor show. This takes place at the Swiss expo on 26 February. Sandro Mesquita, CEO of the Geneva show, said: "We're thrilled to welcome World Car Awards at our next Geneva Salon. Our show is an event etched in the calendar of car enthusiasts worldwide, which makes it a perfect fit to discover the World Car Awards 2024 finalists."

All the category winners will be announced along with the World Car of the Year on 27 March in New York.

Published on February 1, 2024