Countdown to Car of the Year: Vote for your choice

Ten cars have made it to the final shortlist for the Car of the Year award to be given out next week

SINGAPORE - It is that time of year again. Time for us to honour the best the automotive world has to offer, time to celebrate motoring at its best, time for The Straits Times Car of the Year.

As before, it all started with a master list of all the brand new models that were launched by authorised agents between mid-November last year and the middle of last month.

This time, 55 cars were lined up initially, a record number. This excludes the various body and engine variants that each model comes with.

The nine judges from Life! and Torque (a motoring monthly published by SPH Magazines) have whittled this down to a shortlist of 10 cars.

They are, in alphabetical order:

Audi A3, Audi’s first subcompact sedan;Sjcar1912141

BMW i3, BMW’s first mass-produced electric car, a tall hatchback;Sjcar1912142

BMW 2-series, BMW’s junior coupe and convertible, derived from its 1-series;Sjcar1912143

Hyundai Genesis, its luxury sedan;Sjcar1912144

Lexus ES, a value-for-money premium sedan;Sjcar1912145

Mercedes-Benz C-class, Mercedes-Benz’s biggest compact sedan yet;Sjcar1912146

Mercedes-Benz S-class, a high-tech limo with semi-autonomous functions;Sjcar1912147

Mini, the biggest Mini yet;Sjcar1912148

Porsche Macan, the carmaker’s first compact sport-utility vehicle;Sjcar1912149

Toyota Corolla, a Toyota evergreen and the world’s most popular car;Sjcar19121410

As you can see, sedans make up more than half of the list, reflecting, for the first time, Singapore’s entrenched preference for the three-box shape.

But will the winner be a sedan? Or will it be completely unexpected?

Each judge on the panel has completed a point-based selection process. Each car has been gauged according to nine traits, including performance, handling, build quality, efficiency and styling.

The points accumulated by each car across the panel will now be tallied. As always, a clear winner will emerge, because a Car of the Year tends to be streets ahead of the pack, going by past exercises.

This year’s award – the 12th iteration since the awards started in 2003 – will be celebrated in an eight-page special that will be out next Saturday.

Watch out for it.