Finalists Picked for NYIAS 2017 World Car of the Year

With the 2017 New York International Auto Show about a month away, the show’s coveted World Car of the Year Award’s three finalists are now official. The only tricky bit is none of them are cars in the technical sense.

The last three combatants at NYIAS will be the 2017 Jaguar F-Pace (top), 2017 Audi Q5 (middle) and the 2017 Volkswagen Tiguan (bottom). And, if anybody asks, don’t let the World Car of the Year judges know all three are crossovers.

Also: Range Rover to Introduce new Velar at 2017 NYIAS

This year’s competition is further proof of an obvious trend. Crossovers and small SUVs are the hottest sales class in the automotive business, and there’s no sign that they’re dominance is showing any signs of going off the boil. Multiple automakers put up crossovers as their top sellers, and companies who seemed determined never to build any kind of SUV (such as elite operations like Bentley and Aston Martin) are getting into the game.

Any awards contest demands predictions and wise guy selections. While this correspondent doesn’t claim such a status, the odds-on pick has to be the Jaguar F-Pace. It was big news prior to last year’s NYIAS, and it debuted to rave reviews in mid-2016. In fact, I would challenge anyone to chase down a negative review of the F-Pace from any auto writer or car news service. Since the folks writing all of that material all universally love Jaguar’s only crossover, it’s bound to score well at NYIAS.

But, you didn’t hear it from me.