The World Car of the Year (plus the four sub-category winners) for 2021 has been announced, with the Volkswagen ID.4 crossover voted World Car of the Year by a panel of 93 journalists from 28 countries.

The Volkswagen ID.4 was one of 24 vehicles to compete in the category of World Car of the Year. Competing for top honours, Wolfsburg’s winning EV had to best the Honda e and the Toyota Yaris in this year’s three-car shortlist.

Volkswagen’s ID.4 electric crossover is the World Car of the Year for 2021

The Honda e, although missing out on the title of World Car of the Year, was voted for World Urban Car. The Honda e once again came up against the Toyota Yaris (another World Car of the Year runner up) and Honda Jazz, which made up the shortlist.

The quirky Honda e was a finalist in numerous categories.

Any guesses on which car walked away with the laurels in the World Luxury Car sub-category? If you guessed the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class, you would, indeed, be correct. Mercedes’ flagship saloon outclassed the finalists – the Land Rover Defender and Polestar 2 –  to be awarded its second win in the World Car Awards’ 17-year history.

Benz’s flagship has claimed its second World Luxury Car of the Year title.

In the sub-category of World Performance Car of the Year for 2021, the three-finalist shortlist comprised a diverse group of vehicles, each with their take on what a performance car should be. Vying for top honours were Audi’s RS Q8, the Porsche 911 Turbo and Toyota’s GR Yaris. The 992-generation (non-S-badged) Porsche 911 Turbo was voted the victor.

The venerable 911 Turbo bested the RS Q8 and GR Yaris for World Performance Car of 2021.

For the World Car Design of the Year sub-category, a panel of seven reputable designers were tasked at determining which finalist’s – the Honda e, Land Rover Defender and Mazda MX30 – design were worthy of top laurels. The sixth World Car Design of the Year award for Jaguar Land Rover – the most any manufacturer has ever received – the new-generation Land Rover Defender received the gold for its design.

The new Defender secured JLR’s sixth World Car Design of the Year win.

Said Prof. Gerry McGovern, chief creative officer, Jaguar Land Rover, “the new Defender is influenced by its past but is not constrained by it … Our vision was to create a 21st century Defender by pushing the boundaries of engineering, technology and design while retaining its renowned DNA and off-road capability.”

Here’s the full list of winners:

World Car of the Year: Volkswagen ID.4
World Urban Car of the Year: Honda e
World Luxury Car of the Year: Mercedes-Benz S-Class
World Performance Car of the Year: Porsche 911 Turbo
World Car Design of the Year: Land Rover Defender