Middle East Motor Awards 2011 nominations

Middle East Motor Awards 2011 nominations

Nominated new car models have now been announced for the 2011 Middle East Motor Awards. Vice President of the FIA and President of the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE Mohammed ben Sulayem has offered his full support to the region’s largest motor awards, which are set to take place on November 3rd later this year at the Sharjah Expo Centre. I am a member of the judging committee, although my influence on this list was limited, considering there are 18 judges this year!

The full nomination list for the Middle East Motor Awards 2011 follows, as finalised by the MEMA organisers. As you can see, there is a ridiculous number of German models this year, as we hear carmakers called up some of their favourite judges to get them nominated. If you have any feedback, feel free to share:

Sub Compact Small Sedan Midsize Sedan
Hyundai Elantra Kia Optima
Mazda 2 Kia Cerato VW Jetta
Toyota Yaris Renault Megane Renault Safrane
Suzuki Swift   Peugeot 508
Hyundai i10    
Kia Picanto    
Skoda Fabia    
Hyundai Accent    
Large Sedan Executive Sedan Performance Sedan
Chrysler 300C Audi A6 BMW M3 Sedan
Dodge Charger Cadillac CTS Cadillac CTS-V
Ford Taurus Infiniti M Chrysler 300C SRT8
Kia Cadenza Volvo S60 Dodge Charger SRT8
Hyundai Azera VW Passat Mercedes C63 AMG
Compact SUV Midsize SUV Luxury SUV
BMW X1 Ford Edge Land Rover LR4
Chevrolet Captiva Jeep Grand Cherokee Infiniti QX56
Hyundai Tucson GMC Terrain Range Rover
Kia Sportage BMW X3 Porsche Cayenne
Mitsubishi ASX Lincoln MKT BMW X5
VW Tiguan VW Touareg  
Mini Countryman Dodge Durango  
Performance SUV Truck Sports Car
Range Rover Sports Chevrolet Silverado Audi TT RS
Porsche Cayenne Turbo Cadillac Escalade EXT Cadillac CTS Coupe
  Dodge Ram 1500 Ford Mustang
  Ford F-150 Peugeot RCZ
Premium Sports Car Sports Convertible Premium Sports Convertible
Aston Martin Vantage V8 S Chevrolet Camaro Audi R8 Spyder
Audi RS5 Ford Mustang Porsche 911 GTS
Cadillac CTS-V Coupe Nissan 370Z BMW 6-Series
Nissan GT-R VVIP Peugeot 308 CC Mercedes SLK
Porsche 911 Carrera GTS    
BMW 6-Series    
Bentley Continental GT    
Ferrari FF    
Premium Sports Sedan Luxury Car Premium Luxury Car
Porsche Panamera Turbo S Audi A8 L Bentley Mulsanne
Audi A7 Jaguar XJ Rolls Royce Phantom EWB
Mercedes CLS VW Phaeton  
  Mercedes S-Class  
Super Car Premium Sub Compact Car Of The Year
Porsche 911 GT3 Audi A1 Infiniti QX56
Lexus LFA Fiat 500 Convertible Jeep Grand Cherokee
Mercedes SLS AMG VW Golf R Jaguar XJ
Ferrari 599 GTO Lexus CT 200h Volvo S60
Lamborghini Aventador   Audi A7
    Kia Optima
    Hyundai Accent
    Bentley Continental GT
    Ferrari FF
    Lamborghini Aventador

What do you think?



  1. What a shame to Toyota !!!

  2. my choices will be as follow for every segment…

    Suzuki Swift
    Hyundai Elantra
    Renault Safrane
    Kia Cadenza
    Infiniti M
    BMW M3 Sedan
    Kia Sportage
    VW Touareg
    Porsche Cayenne
    Porsche Cayenne Turbo
    Ford F-150
    Audi TT RS
    Nissan GT-R VVIP
    Chevrolet Camaro
    Audi R8 Spyder
    Porsche Panamera Turbo S
    Mercedes S-Class
    Rolls Royce Phantom EWB
    Lamborghini Aventador (this is a real 300k+ $$ car, toyota, can you hear me????)…
    Lexus CT 200h

    Lamborghini Aventador (actually i took this because all choices not up to this award).

    and +1..shame on you toyota…there are cars from kia and hyundai in those lists more than toyota…

  3. No BMW 7 series?

  4. “As you can see, there is a ridiculous number of German models this year, as we hear carmakers called up some of their favourite judges to get them nominated.”

    whats your problem Mash? why you are always against German like this? well we know the reason but try to be professional please

  5. car of the year new kia optima sx , its mind blowing

  6. is there convertible camaro in the market here?

  7. Names like Lamborghini Aventador and Ferrari FF are neither on sale as of now nor available for sale, respectively, then even being nominated*-)

    Pains me to note that no Audi RS6, where as 3 American “Performace Cars”

    And yes, spare a thought for Toyota:) however, car of the year should definitely go to Kia Optima – fantastic to look at, nice decent engines and features and did i mention, it looks fantastic!?:)

    • Author

      Those supercars were nominated because they’ll be on sale by the time the awards are given and some of the judges have already driven them at fancy fully-paid European events. Not including me, of course.

  8. I don’t see any nissan variants, except the 370z.not fair.

  9. Some brands which are completely missing from the above pack:


  10. I am happy to see Hyundai azera is nominated.. its a awesome car and great fuel economy (9L/100)..using one since 2006 and its running great..

  11. Disappoitning as last year:

    Midsize/Large Sedan
    No Nissan Maxima
    No Nissan Altima
    No Honda Accord
    No Mazda6

    I guess all above have 2010 and 2011 refreshes avaiable

    Premium Sports Sedan
    No Infinti G37

    Boycott as usual ,

  12. Midsize/Large Sedan:

    No Nissan Maxima
    No Nissan Altima
    No Honda Accord
    No Mazda6

    All have 2010 and 2011 refreshes avaialbe i believe

    So whats the execuse this year ? Juding Panel and experts ?

    In premium saloon car
    Infinti G37

    I can’t digest it
    Boycott !

  13. Most funny category is so called Car of the year.

    you have hundayi accent along with lambo and FF 😛

    What was the stupid crietria ?
    Performance ?
    Sales ?
    Looks ?
    Popular Choice?
    Technology and Innovation?

    no matter how hard you try , they can’t match each other in any category yet they fall in same category 😛 ?

    So how did they end up in same category ?

    I mean this shows how absurb nomination creitra was ?

    I need answers for this , seems common sense was ignored

  14. loook experts and judges if you are reading this…

    this will make you stupid also

    Think if Hyundai Accent Wins car of the year category …

    Think what will be headline next day

    Hyundai Accent Beats Ferrari and Lambo to claim middle east car of the year…

    Hyundai New Add: Buy cheap Accent and make fool of Feraari and Lambo Owners 😛

    How funny that would be :P…

  15. you’re right mash, someone is reading 😉

    Seems Mr. Kaiz is rather misinformed. Would love to address his concerns, but then, would miss the comical comments 🙂

    hows are the scorecards coming along ?

    • Author

      I’ll get to it 🙂

    • it might sound comical but just think…
      Hundyai on Fire: Accent Takes on FF and Lambo , “Middle east car expert claims”.

      Would be nice magzine heading and the world will have same question for all the expert “HOW COME?”

    • Author

      I’d go with that title. Sounds catchy. In other news, the Nissan Leaf beat the Audi A8 as World Car of the Year 2011, but an Accent win would add more shock value.

    • Nissan Leaf is technology milestone , Accent is not

      See i describe certira above
      “Technology and Innovation”

      Nissan Leaf beats every other car in market by only virtue of its technology and innovation
      This does not sound shocking …..

      but what does accent have in comparsion to other car nominated… I hope this clear my point of view

      thanks for giving the example 🙂

    • Author

      If it were up to me, Aventador wouldn’t be nominated either. But it’s not all up to me, eh.

    • I understand that Ur not the decision maker just giving my thoughts last year I gave suggestion for public choice award cAtegory for people to vote them selve but seem ignored again

    • Author

      The problem with a public choice award, as I understand it, is the counting of the votes, which would require a whole new system. If it were online, it’d have to be hack-proof too. Some sponsors may need to step in later on for sometihng like that.

  16. lolz i am not saying it will win but just think which car is competing agaisnt what?

  17. It’s a relief to know that biased Chowdhury has 1/18 votes. Otherwise, I wouldn’t see any of my beloved AUDIs on the list.


  18. My vote goes to the Tata Nano for car-of-the-year.

  19. As far as I can see, theres a number of forced nominees in the list, especially after its been mentioned that cars have to be new for 2011, and facelifts do not count unless its a new engine or something.

    Yaris – outdated ancient model, new one not available in UAE, and even if the new one was there, its a POS anyway.

    Cerato – Not new for 2011
    Cadenza – Not new for 2011
    Safrane – Not new for 2011
    M3 – not new for 2011
    Azera – Same old drab from 5 years ago and I’m sure the new one isnt there yet.
    370Z – not new for 2011
    RR Sport – not new for 2011

    Plus, many more. Its a shame how influence can brush the truth under the carpet.

    • Author

      My own nominations list was pretty bare because I only nominated the cars I’d driven. A couple of the nominations are “reaching”, but not the ones you mentioned:

      Yaris – new one will debut in a few months.
      Cerato – got new 6-speed automatic gearbox.
      Cadenza – it technically launched as a 2011 in early 2010, as I was told.
      Safrane – Brand new for 2011. It’s in the car guide.
      M3 – the sedan was nominated, which came here in early 2010.
      Azera – new one will debut in a few months.
      370Z – the new roadster was nominated
      RR Sport – only this one is debatable. changes are minor, in the trim and terrain select system.

    • Author

      My mistake on the M3 sedan. It indeed came out in 2008. There may be 2011 changes, however minor, that I am not aware of.

  20. I see that mash can handle most of the questions himself…good going mashfique. If anyone troubles you alot, do let me know..u know ill always have an answer for them.

    BTW for the dude who wrote “Its a shame how influence can brush the truth under the carpet” –
    thats really dramatic bro ! Although you are free to your own opinions…Unless you have the complete technical know-how of how the awards work (which i doubt you will, unless you are willing to learn) I would suggest you avoid such accusations in a publuc forum, you could be sued you know…


    • Mohd, I appreciate Mash’s efforts, for bringing us this website, and to me, it’s an invaluable source of information for what’s happening in the middle east auto industry/market. And I appreciate how he’s candid enough to talk us, and discuss flaws in the system, so I dont want to be harsh on anyone. Honestly, I feel Mash is never insincere about what he’s telling us through this medium, and if I felt he was, I wouldnt be here. But lets just be rational and frank about this, shall we?
      Almost half the cars I mentioned havent even been driven in GCC trim (I know the rule book may/may not care about this). Do you personally feel it’s fair to include them? Regarding the M3 sedan, I’m quite sure it debuted in 2008, and if i’m not wrong, the buyer guide says that too.
      Moreover, Mash himself agrees that influence was used to force some nominations through. And he said that with regards to a few nominations that he genuinely knows are forced. Logically, there would be a some more that he doesnt even know about. So when I say influence was used unfairly, I’m not really wrong, am I? I can only criticise it, but I know there’s nothing that can be done about this, because it will happen every time an event like this takes place, and in every other walk of life. Lets face it, power and authority is almost always abused 🙂

    • Author

      Hi Yousuf, when I said “forced” I did not mean that a carmaker forced the organisers to add a car (I’ve changed the comment wording now so there is no confusion). The organisers have been pretty strict with regards to carmakers trying to influence the results. By “forced”, I meant the changes to a car are very minor but were added anyway on the discretion of the organiser, otherwise there wouldn’t be many cars to compete. Nothing wrong with that. Even I may not be aware of certain changes to, say, the M3 sedan, but I know the organiser usually gets data sheets from the manufacturer to check for changes.

    • Mash, thats what I meant by that too, and by the way, I said forced, not you 🙂 My point was that there are a few cars in there not based on merit, and its quite clear. For whatever reason that may be, ‘calls’ or lack of competition, or just plain personal favours, I feel it’s unfair. 🙂

  21. Man this Kaiz guy is hilarious !

    • U didn’t answer my question ? I am might sound hilarious but my question is valid otherwise after awRd people will say milddle east car award are joke :p

  22. Also add most reliable or economical car in Ur categories .

    • Author

      The problem with that is reliability is not possible to measure for new models. And economy, since I am the only one in the GCC measuring it…well…you can see the problem. I should check my own tests and announce that though. I think CT200h.

  23. Yousuf, appreciate your concerns and valuable feedback. I cant say about other events, but be sure in MEMAs NO nominations are forced. I can gurantee that because I painstakingly sort them out myself.

    Each and every vehicle is nominated based on technicalities that I woudnt expect you to know, unless you are a automotive media professional. Moreover, any car company who has tried to be influential, has been shown the door. You have no idea how the organising commitee works my friend.

    The cars that according to you arent driven as they are currently not available. My friend, ALL of those cars have been driven by most of the Jury members during international launches months before. Thats why they are nominated and secondly, they will be available very soon, well before the awards.

    As for Mash believing some of the nominations are forced, you know he likes to start a debate. Thats all.

    You have the right to question, but make sure that your questions are based on solid grounds. I would suggest once again, unless you have complete and absolute assurance of a certain subject, especially if its related to goverment authorities, do not apply false accusations.


    • Author

      I believe my meaning of “forced” were misunderstood, so I have clarified Yousuf’s comment above.

    • Mohd, I’m an automotive engineer for what it’s worth. I was talking about ‘GCC spec’ models being driven and rated before they were nominated, because it sounded fair to me. 1) because they are often different 2) if they werent available in the middle east when they were “nominated”, they dont quite deserve a middle east best midsize car award do they? I’m not accusing the government here, just raising my concerns. And I’m sure they can be addressed…no biggie 🙂

  24. All of you know nothing. Dodge charger is the best…Fast five FTW 😛

    • hehe, Dodge Charger was indeed a cracker in the movie Fast Five. I really liked the LFA as well driven by the last Japanese guy @ the end of the movie….. Anyone catch the scene at the end of the movie credits?! Introduction of a twist for the next sequel. Love hurts!

  25. It’s very strange that most sold mid size sedan like Toyota Camry and Nissan Altima are not there. Moreover we don’t see Toyota Land Cruiser and Nissan Patrol in the list as well. Both of these cars and SUVs are very popular in the entire GCC. Does anyone know why these are excluded? I don’t understand how can you have a competition without including the big share holders in the automobile market here. It’s like having World Cup Football without Spain, Italy, Germany, England, Brazil and Argentina in it…

  26. How come the new Mercedes E class is missing?

  27. Yes,
    Imagine everybody is waiting for the announcement of “CAR OF THE YEAR 2011”.

    And the nomineis are
    1.Infiniti QX56
    2.Convertible Jeep Grand Cherokee
    3.Jaguar XJ
    4.Volvo S60
    5.Audi A7
    6.Kia Optima
    7.Hyundai Accent
    8.Bentley Continental GT
    9.Ferrari FF
    10.Lamborghini Aventador

    everybody looking at the stage and waiting to listen the “CAR OF THE YEAR 2011”. and person annonces one of these name “Hyundai Accent / Kia Optima”. Next you all will have a news in news paper the production of “Bentley Continental GT / Ferrari FF / Lamborghini Aventador” is stopped by the manufactures.

    Very smart ways to close these cars model. Agreed.

  28. well i think the list should also include chinese car brands,

    because china will take over easily in less than 10 years i bet. If you see toyota,honda, specially mitsubishi is the most lazy who is stuck with the same car models since years nothing new or even good, kia will be number one & the rest will all be chinese.

    for example in mobiles chinese mobiles are the only ones to give not dual sim but five sim, also battery life for days/month, sound that is loud like a big speaker. still after paying high you wont get that in best brands.

    chinese cars will come in under 90000 dhirams with even features of Transformers movie

  29. China for sure will soon be manufacturing ‘BABIES’ tagged on the rare ‘made in china’

  30. dumped my altima for KIA Optima…



Browse archives

Share This