The Audi A3 has been named the 2014 World Car of the Year. See the other winners inside

The Audi A3 has been named the 2014 World Car of the Year.

A panel of 69 automotive journalists selected the car over the BMW 4-Series and Mazda3 because it offers a "silky smooth ride," a "superb choice of engines" and four body styles. They concluded the A3 "packs a hefty premium punch in the small luxury segment."

According to Audi Chairman Rupert Stadler, "The Audi A6 was the first ever winner of this award and we are delighted that the Audi A3 has repeated that achievement by being voted 2014 World Car of the Year. The Audi A3 showcases Audi’s technical competence in all aspects of carmaking, not least in the areas of lightweight technology, drivetrain, mobile infotainment and driver assistance systems. This major award win is an achievement that the whole company can celebrate."

This year's other winners include the Mercedes S-Class which beat the Bentley Flying Spur and Range Rover Sport to become the 2014 World Luxury Car. The Porsche 911 GT3 took top honors in the World Performance Car category, while the BMW i3 scooped up both the World Green Car and World Car Design of the Year awards.

Gallery: Audi A3 named 2014 World Car of the Year