The Road to World Car journey has ended with the declaration of the MAZDA MX-5 as the 2016 World Car of the Year. The winner was announced during a press conference hosted by the New York International Auto Show, Bridgestone Corporation and Autoneum.
2016 marks the 10th anniversary of the partnership between World Car and the New York show, and the third consecutive year that the World Car Awards have retained their ranking as the number one automotive awards program in the world in terms of media reach.
Mazda Motor Corporation is no stranger to the World Car Awards program – now in its 12th year. The Mazda2/Mazda Demio was the 2008 World Car of the Year. While the Mazda3 (2014), Mazda6 (2013) and Mazda MX-5 have all earned “Top Three in the World” status as voted by our 70 plus international automotive journalists that make up the jury.
The MAZDA MX-5 was chosen from an initial entry list of 23 vehicles from all over the world, then a short list of ten, then three finalists: the Audi A4 Sedan/Audi A4 Avant, the Mazda MX-5, and the Mercedes-Benz GLC.
“What a wonderful honor, to have the Mazda MX-5 named World Car of the Year,” said Masahiro Moro, president and CEO, Mazda North American Operations, and Managing Executive Officer, Mazda Motor Corporation. “As our iconic MX-5 roadster approaches one-million units of production, this award is proof that it is as young, vibrant, fun and relevant as ever. While I accept this award on behalf of the company, I do so representing every Mazda employee, retail partner and customer around the world who has ever felt the joy of driving a pure roadster. We say ‘Driving Matters’ in our advertising, and we prove it in our cars.”
The World Car Awards jurors observed that, “With the launch of its all-new MX-5, Mazda has thrown out the blueprint and gone back to basics – back to 1989 basics. Shorter, lower, wider and – most importantly – lighter, the new MX-5 comes with a choice of either 1.5 or 2.0-litre naturally aspirated petrol engines and the promise of unparalleled ‘Jinba ittai’ – a term meaning oneness between car and driver. And yes, it’s still one of the best driver’s cars around.”
To be eligible for the overall World Car award, the candidates must become available for sale on at least two continents during the period beginning January 1, 2015 and ending May 31, 2016.
This year, vehicles were selected and voted on by an international jury panel comprised of 73 top-level automotive journalists from 23 countries around the world. Each juror was appointed by the World Car Steering Committee on the basis of his or her expertise, experience, credibility, and influence. Each juror typically drives and evaluates new vehicles on a regular basis as part of their professional work. Through their respective outlets they collectively reach an audience of many millions world-wide. The international accounting firm KPMG tabulates the jurors’ ballots.
Previous World Car of the Year winners were the Mercedes-Benz C-Class (2015), the Audi A3 (2014), the Volkswagen Golf (2013), the Volkswagen Up! (2012), the Nissan Leaf (2011), the Volkswagen Polo (2010, the Volkswagen Golf (2009), the Mazda2 / Mazda Demio (2008), the Lexus LS460 (2007), the BMW 3-Series (2006), and the Audi A6 (2005).