The results of the 2013 Middle East Motor Awards were announced last evening at a ceremony on the Al Majaz Waterfront in Sharjah, hosted by Muhammed Ali Sajjad of the Expo Centre Sharjah. I was one of the 18 judges, although the cars were score and the points were tallied long ago, so were there just to hear who were the winners in each category, as well as Car Of The Year.
Best Small Sedan: Peugeot 301
In a surprise, the Peugeot 301 beat out the Nissan Sentra, Volkswagen Polo and Kia Cerato. The Sentra was top in my own score sheet, and I hadn’t driven the Kia.
Best Midsize Sedan: Honda Accord
The Honda Accord beat out the Mazda 6, Nissan Altima and Opel Insignia. The Accord was top in my scoring too, although I did not drive the Mazda or the Opel in time to score it.
Best Large Sedan: Chevrolet Impala
The Chevrolet Impala won against the Toyota Avalon. The Avalon was the winner in my scores, only because I’m blacklisted by General Motors.
Best Executive Sedan: Cadillac ATS
The Cadillac ATS won against the Lexus ES 350 and the Kia Quoris. The Lexus was topping my score sheet, only because I hadn’t driven the Kia and the Cadillac, the latter due to the aforementioned blacklisting.
Best Luxury Sedan: Lexus LS 460
The Lexus LS 460 beat out the BMW 7-Series and the Cadillac XTS. That matched with my winner too, if only because the other two never offered me their cars so I couldn’t score them.
Best Luxury Performance Sedan: BMW M6 Gran Coupe
The BMW M6 Gran Coupe won against the Audi S8, Lexus LS 460 F-Sport and the Maserati Quattroporte. The Lexus was topping my own score sheet, because I hadn’t driven the Maserati in time, and we’re not on good terms with BMW or Audi.
Best Crossover: Toyota RAV4
The Toyota RAV4 beat out the Mazda CX-5 and the Ford Escape. It was the winner for me too, as a complete package.
Best Midsize SUV: Jeep Grand Cherokee
The Jeep Grand Cherokee beat out the Chevrolet Trailblazer, Hyundai Santa Fe, Nissan Pathfinder and Kia Sorento. It’s the winner on my sheet too.
Best Luxury SUV: Land Rover Range Rover
The Range Rover won against the Mercedes-Benz G500 and Infiniti JX. The Infiniti was the only car I’d scored since neither of the other cars were made available to me, although I’d say the Range Rover had an easy win here.
Best Performance SUV: Porsche Cayenne Turbo S
The Porsche Cayenne Turbo S won against the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT. I pegged the Jeep as our top dog here because we never drove the top Cayenne.
Best Small Hatchback: Volkswagen Golf
The VW Golf won against the Alfa Romeo Giulietta and the Opel Astra GTC. My top scorer was the Alfa, although I’d say the VW still had a deserved win. We never drove the Opel.
Best Performance Hatchback: Ford Focus ST
The Ford Focus ST beat out the VW Golf GTI and the Renault Clio RS200. The Focus ST is easily my winner too, especially since the new Renault is available in very few Middle East countries, and never came to the GCC.
Best Premium Hatchback: Mercedes-Benz A 250
The Mercedes-Benz A 250 beat out the Volvo V40. My own score sheet was empty for these, since I drove neither car.
Best Sports Coupe: Porsche Cayman
The Porsche Cayman had an easy win over the SRT Viper and the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. I scored the Cayman based on my Boxster experience, the SRT wasn’t released in time, and the General Motors ban made sure I didn’t drive the Camaro.
Best Premium Sports Coupe: Maserati GranTurismo Sport
The Maserati GranTurismo Sport won against the Aston Martin Vanquish and the Porsche 911 Carrera 4S. The top scorer on my list was the Aston Martin, since I never got around to driving the other two.
Best Premium Sports Convertible: Jaguar F-Type
The Jaguar F-Type beat out the Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Cabriolet and the Mercedes-Benz SL 500. The F-Type is the winner in my book too, even though I never got around to driving the other two.
Best Premium Luxury Convertible: Bentley Continental GTC Speed
The Bentley Continental GTC Speed won against the Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe. The Bentley is one of my favourite cars, but if memory serves me right, the two contenders were tied in my score sheet.
Best Supercar: McLaren 12C Spider
The McLaren 12C Spider beat out the Ferrari F12 and the Lamborghini Aventador Roadster. The McLaren 12C is a winner in my list too, especially with the upgrades over last year’s coupe. It also helped that I didn’t drive the other two.
Car of the Year: Jaguar F-Type
Through multiple shortlisting processes, the Jaguar F-Type beat out the Range Rover and the Cadillac ATS to take the top crown. I voted for the Jaguar too, so at least the choice that counts went my way!
All winners were selected based on total points given in several categories for each car by 18 judges. Keep in mind that only cars launched from late last year to the middle of this year were eligible to be part of the 2013 awards. Cars launched after this summer will be contenders next year.
Event photos by Salma Sultana.