Earlier this month, the World Car of the Year panel announced its three overall finalists for 2021. The nominees were the Honda E, the Toyota Yaris, and the Volkswagen ID.4. This year's running of the awards is special. For the first time in its history, there are two electric vehicles (EVs) in the World Car of the Year finals.
But which car won the prestigious title of 2021 World Car of the Year? Is it the “conventional” Toyota Yaris? The funky Honda E? Or the practical Volkswagen ID.4? The winner is powered by electricity, so that eliminates the Yaris. With that, it's down to the Honda and the Volkswagen.
The finalists were graded in eight subjective and objective categories. These are occupant environment, performance, value, safety, environment, market significance, emotional appeal, and innovation. The World Car of the Year jury includes some of the toughest automotive critics and writers from around the globe, and winning over them isn't an easy task for any car.
In the end, it was the Volkswagen ID.4 that prevailed over the Honda E. It won all but two criteria, as it was edged by the Honda when it came to innovation and emotional appeal. Nonetheless, it was a relatively dominant performance from the ID.4 with a unanimous vote from the jury.
There are other reasons why the ID.4 won this year's award. The jury praised its green credentials, as well as the innovative features of the car. Some of the features that drew praise include the augmented reality display system, the advanced adaptive cruise control, and the Travel Assist system. The digitization of its controls and functions helped the ID.4 score even more points.
The ID.4 is the first electric vehicle to win the World Car of the Year award. This EV also gives Volkswagen their fifth title, having won it in 2009, 2010, 2012, and 2013. The past winners from the German automaker are sixth and seventh-generation Golf, the fifth-generation Polo, and the first-generation Up.