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Mazda MX-5 wins 2016 World Car of the Year

Published: 24 March 2016

► Mazda MX-5 beats Audi A4 and Merc GLC
► Voted for by a panel of 73 journalists
► Announced at 2016 New York motor show

Turns out the Mazda MX-5 really is the answer to everything, as the lightweight roadster has been named 2016 World Car of the Year at the 2016 New York motor show.

Judged by a panel of 73 journalists from 23 countries, the Mk4 MX-5 also won the World Car Design of the Year sub-category. The World Car of the Year awards were first launched in 2004. To qualify for nomination, cars must be on sale on at least two continents.

Read CAR's first drive of the fourth-generation Mazda MX-5 here.

What cars did the MX-5 beat for the 2016 WCOTY title?

A pretty broad spread. The two runners up for the overall WCOTY gong were the Audi A4 and the Mercedes GLC SUV, while also nominated were the BMW X1, Land Rover Discovery Sport, Renault Kadjar, Subaru Levorg and Skoda Superb, to name a few.

In the Design of the Year category the MX-5 nabbed the trophy from Jaguar’s XE saloon and its own Mazda CX-3 crossover stablemate.

Which other cars are taking home some silverware from New York?

  • Audi R8 – Performance car of the year (runners up Mercedes-AMG C63 Coupe, Honda Civic Type R)
  • Toyota Mirai – Best green car award (runners up Toyota Prius, Chevrolet Volt)
  • BMW 7-series – Best luxury car (runners up Audi Q7, Volvo XC90)

Who’s won before?

A quick glance down the last decade’s worth of winners makes the MX-5’s achievement all the more remarkable – not too many sports cars here.

  • 2015 Mercedes C-class
  • 2014 Audi A3
  • 2013 VW Golf
  • 2012 VW Up
  • 2011 Nissan Leaf
  • 2010 VW Polo
  • 2009 VW Golf
  • 2008 Mazda 2
  • 2007 Lexus LS
  • 2006 BMW 3-series

Mazda also revealed the new RF (Retractable Fastback) version of the MX-5 at the 2016 New York show this week, with an unusual folding roof design – click here for the full details and gallery.

Read CAR’s A-Z guide to the new cars at the 2016 New York show here.

By James Taylor

CAR's deputy features editor, automotive design graduate, Radical champ

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