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The international Car of the Year season is upon us! The top contenders for the European Car of the Year awards have been revealed late last year, and now it’s time for the 2013 World Car Awards.

And while the European Car of the Year awards (of which there will only be one overall winner) tend to focus on everyday, affordable cars to reflect on the continent’s dismal state of economy, the World Car Awards is taking a more rounded approach by having multiple categories: World Car of the Year, World Performance Car, World Green Car and World Car Design of the Year.

A jury of 66 international automotive journalists has chosen the top 10 finalists of the first two categories, with the results tabulated by global accounting firm KPMG. Each new model was rated in terms of overall merit, value, safety, environmental responsibility, emotional appeal, and significance.

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The contenders for the 2013 World Car of the Year title are the Audi A3, Range Rover, Mazda6, Mazda CX-5, Mercedes-Benz A-Class, Peugeot 208, Porsche Boxster / Cayman, Subaru BRZ / Toyota 86, Volkswagen Golf, and Volvo V40.

Judged on a completely different set of characteristics, the 2013 World Performance Car will be chosen from one of these top ten finalists: Aston Martin Vanquish, Audi RS 5, BMW M6 Coupe / Convertible, BMW M 135i, Ferrari F12 Berlinetta, Mercedes-Benz SL 63 AMG, Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster, Porsche Boxster / Cayman, Renault Clio Sport, and of course, Subaru BRZ / Toyota 86.

As you’d expect, the 2013 World Green Car category is handled differently. Five experts in “green” technology shortlisted five contenders – Renault Zoe, smart Electric Drive, Tesla Model S, Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid, Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid Diesel – which will then be evaluated by the 66 judges.

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For the 2013 World Car Design of the Year award, a car’s dynamic attributes and talents are thrown out of the window, the contenders judged on their looks and looks alone. The Aston Martin Vanquish, Renault Clio, Jaguar F-Type, Range Rover, Mazda6, and Volkswagen Golf made the final cut.

The top three finalists of each category will be announced at the Geneva International Motor Show in early March, while the overall winners will be declared at the end of the same month; this time coinciding with the New York International Auto Show.

Think the judges have erred and left out your favourite cars, or do you agree with the chosen finalists? Sound your opinions below.