Monday 29 May 2017

Double win for F-PACE but my top vote went elsewhere

Jaguar's F-Pace
Jaguar's F-Pace
BMW i3
Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

Voting for a Car of the Year can be a tough, but revealing, assignment, as I found again this time around.

It really makes you put a value on so many aspects of a car.

I didn't give Jaguar's F-PACE top marks in the World Car of the Year vote, but I am happy to congratulate the marque on not just winning the overall award, but also picking up the design accolade (no, I didn't give it top marks for that either).

I'm not going to bore you with all the figures for all the categories, but I do think it is important to let you know how, and what, I voted for when it came to the main award.

I was torn between the Honda Civic and Skoda Kodiaq, with the former just edging the latter by a point. The F-PACE was joint third with the Toyota C-HR.

Among those in the final shake-up for the main award were the Audi Q5 and Volkswagen Tiguan, neither of which registered strongly with me.

The Q5 was my fourth choice, but the Tiguan was second last on my marks. It just goes to show how different people rate different aspects of a car from varying perspectives.

There were two others, Audis, the A5 and Q2, neither of which featured prominently in my votes. I think one entrant per manufacturer is enough, by the way.

The F-PACE taking the World Car of the Year design award was a bit of a surprise. I'm not a mad fan of its looks. I thought the Mercedes S-Class Cabrio and Toyota C-HR were better options.

The disparity in voting/preferences is a good thing, though, and makes you think in global terms. I'm just one of 75 motoring journalists from 24 countries privileged to get to vote.

The double win marks the first overall success for Jaguar at these awards. And in fairness, the F-PACE was a breakthrough model.

The Mercedes E-Class took the 2017 World Luxury Car title - absolutely spot on - while the BMW i3 (94Ah) was declared the inaugural winner of the World Urban Car award.

Meanwhile, the Porsche Boxster Cayman took the World Performance Car accolade.

And the Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid (here from June 1) won the Green car award. The Toyota Mirai won this award last year.

The winners were announced at a special event hosted by the New York International Auto Show, Bridgestone and Autoneum.

I'm already looking forward to the selection processes for the next World Car Awards.

Meanwhile, World Car and PRIME Research have published a study on future automotive trends.

The '2017 Global Automotive Trends Report' says diesel engines (currently 13.5pc global market share) will be overtaken by electric vehicles (just 1pc now) in 2025.

Those surveyed, including myself, regard the battery as the "energy carrier of the future". A previous survey viewed battery electric vehicles (BEVs) as the least promising powertrain option four years ago.

The core problems remain, however: range, charging infrastructure, faster charging etc. The survey says Tesla leads the electric race, but is closely followed by Audi, BMW, Mercedes and Volvo.

These, and car brands strongly associated with hybrid powertrains, have benefited from the diesel emissions crisis - "while the reputation of the traditional car industry has suffered".

• Eddie Cunningham is Ireland's sole representative on the World Car of the Year jury.

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