DETROIT - The Chevrolet Cruze has been announced as a finalist for the annual World Car of the Year Award. The winner will be announced at the New York International Auto Show April 1.  

The Cruze is one of 10 finalists for the annual award, as selected by a jury of 59 international automotive journalists. Also in the running are the Audi Q5, Mazda3, and Toyota Prius. 

Each vehicle will be judged based on overall merit, value, safety, environmental responsibility, emotional appeal, and significance.

"Being a finalist for the World Car of the Year confirms the momentum behind Cruze," said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet general manager. "More than 125,000 customers in Asia and Europe have already chosen the all-new Cruze. That strong acceptance on the world stage makes us confident that Cruze will be successful here in the U.S. as well when it goes on sale in the third quarter of this year."

Cruze has already earned the top rating of five stars from the European New Car Assessment Program (EuroNCAP). According to EuroNCAP, Cruze is the first passenger car to receive maximum scores in both the frontal offset collision test and side impact crash test since EuroNCAP began providing crash test ratings in 1997. Cruze also received best-in-class, five-star crash safety ratings in the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) testing in Australia, and the Chinese New Car Assessment Program (C-NCAP) testing in China.