In its ninth year running, wheels Car of the Year is the region’s largest independent automotive awards. All the cars are assessed purely on the basis of what they have to offer for the price, which gives the underdog a fighting chance to take down its more powerful competitors. The shortlisted cars are rated on tangible, real-world parameters such as technology, driveability, value, and styling, but it is how they make you feel that also matters a lot to us. As it does to every petrolhead. That said, it’s a fine balancing act between subjectivity and real-world abilities. The car that ticks the most boxes wins. But it all starts months ago with a shortlist of 50 or so standout cars (new or substantially updated and currently on sale in the UAE). Then the debates begin and that number is halved. The remaining cars then undergo back-to-back testing until the worthy ones emerge. MEET THE JUDGES