The future is all about you.
This fall an amazing thing happened: As the founder of A Girls Guide to Cars, I was invited to join the World Car Awards as a jurist. Each winter, 85 automotive journalists from around the world cast votes on the cars they’ve driven during the year to recognize the best cars on the market. Representing you and your interests, I will cast votes alongside journalists from outlets like Car and Driver, CNET, Forbes, Engadget, Wired, Automotive News and Kelley Blue Book.
As a group we will drive, examine and evaluate hundreds of cars and rate them on a variety of criteria, declaring winners in 6 categories: World Car of the Year, World Luxury Car, World Luxury Car, World Green Car, World Urban Car and World Car Design of the year.
How You’re Shaping the World Car Awards
When WCA was founded 15 years ago, a global trend was taking shape: car makers were building cars they could sell in any market, or, global cars. And it turns out that what matters most to you is also what matters most to buyers around the world: SUVs that give us capability, family cars with room for everyone, efficient and sustainable cars that cost less and waste less.
In picking the right cars for A Girls Guide to Cars, we’ve written about many of the World Car Award contenders. But we missed a few, so we joined other WCA jurors in Pasadena, California for more test drives. And we want to know, what do you think? Which of these cars would you buy? Which of these cars do you think are important to our future? Which of these cars best connect us as a global community of car buyers and drivers? Here’s a look at some of the cars we drove recently, and others we wrote about this year.
The original SUV that started the trend of moms, suburbanites and families driving SUVs, we love how capable this car is. No, we don’t take it off road (like most drivers) but all it takes is one near miss with a snowy ditch and sleeping babies in car seats to appreciate how much this car has your back. Not to mention the upgraded infotainment system, added safety features and 29 MPG, the most fuel efficient Jeep ever.
Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
Toyota engineered the hybrid engine and has been leading the pack since, making hybrids more efficient, fun, capable and cutting edge. The all new 2019 RAV4 brings it all, with a newly redesigned interior, more standard features (including an upgraded safety system) and upping the MPG to 39. And, we can’t love this color combo enough! Lunar Rock with Ice Edge roof is what Toyota calls it; the elegant colors paired iwth the sporty trim and wheels are just sublime.
Jaguar’s first all electric car is also an all wheel drive SUV. Ladies, you’ve spoken and made SUVs the most popular type of car and Jaguar listened. So the brand’s first entree to electric was with this SUV. But the innovation goes beyond just being an all electric SUV: 80% of the aluminum used in this car is recycled and that luscious suede interior? It’s really microfiber made from recycled soda bottles. That is serious luxe. We interviewed Dave Shaw, chief engineer of the iPace, and you can see it here.
Yes, this is a performance car, with a $147,000 price tag and 369 horsepower that takes off like a rocket. That is due to the hybrid electric motor that gives the car instantaneous acceleration. But the difference is that this car rides beautifully. You don’t feel every bump and curve in the road, just the ones the driver wants you to feel. It’s exotic sports car exterior belies a car that is a joy to be in (if you can successfully traverse the crazy wing doors). See our live stream with the BMW i8 here.
Aston Martin Vantage
If you had someone hand build a car for you this is what it would look like: a gorgeously swooping modern silhouette, suede appointments inside, carbon fiber outside, a perfect place for your handbag and a trunk with room for all your stuff. Seriously, you can fit it all in. But hand made has a price tag, and the Vantage’s starts at about $150,000. Get a better look in our live stream with the Vantage here.
Lexus UX Hybrid
This might be the best car Lexus has ever built and not just because we love SUVs. But because it’s all we love about SUVs. The UX (U for Urban) small, easy to drive, has flexible space and is well-appointed inside. And with standard AWD, 39 MPG and Lexus’ new infotainment system, it’s an all around YAY.
Sometimes your car is just for you. For that amazing drive on lonely highways when you head to work early, for date night, for road tripping with your bestie. And, for learning the fun and joy of track driving. The BMW M2, starting at $59,000 and rolling in with 409 horsepower (in a 2 door coupe!) is designed to please on the track and in the driveway: it’s one of the prettiest cars on the road. We took a closer look at the M2 here.
Anyone in the market for a luxury sedan must, must, must look at Genesis. The luxury brand from Hyundai, Genesis is raising the stakes in luxury, providing not just more features for a lower price tag, but rethinking the mix, too. And, for those (of us) lamenting the end of the era of manual transmissions in Asian luxury sedans, those days are now over: The Genesis G70 is available in a stick!!!
Suzuki: Not a brand we’re used to seeing on American roads! But around the globe you’ll still see the nameplate. And in 2019 Suzuki brought back one of its all time popular cars: The Jimny, a 2-door SUV with a price tag of just about $22,000 fully loaded. This 4WD SUV hasn’t been revamped since the 1970’s, so the 2019 model has many upgrades and additions that make it modern and ideal for city driving, off roading or just climbing hills in Japan and Germany. We hope to see this cutie in the US someday soon, too. See what the Jimny is all about in our live stream.
You can see the full list of World Car Award contenders here, and here are the ones that we have covered: