A field of 36 candidates for the Continental Irish Car of the Year 2013 awards has been announced by the Irish Motoring Writers' Association (IMWA).

The Continental Irish Car of the Year and Continental Irish Van of the Year will be revealed at a gala event in the Convention Centre, Dublin, on Thursday November 22.

The full field of candidates for the Continental Irish Car of the Year 2013 is as follows: Audi A3, Audi Q3, BMW 3 Series, BMW 6 Series Gran Coupé, BMW M5, Chevrolet Cruze, Chevrolet Orlando, Chevrolet Spark, Chrysler 300C, Citroen DS5, Fiat Panda, Ford B-MAX, Honda Civic, Honda CR-V, Hyundai i30, Hyundai Santa Fe, Hyundai Veloster, Kia cee'd, Kia Optima, Lexus GS, Mazda CX-5, Mercedes-Benz B-Class, Mercedes-Benz M-Class, Mercedes-Benz SL, Opel Zafira Tourer, Peugeot 208, Porsche 911, Porsche Boxster, SEAT Mii, Skoda Citigo, Subaru XV, Toyota GT86, Volkswagen Beetle, Volkswagen up!, Volvo V40.

Gerry Murphy, Chairman of the IMWA, said: "In spite of the general economic slowdown, we are still seeing the arrival in Ireland of a lot of innovative new car models, brimful of new automotive technologies, and the field of runners for the 2013 title certainly doesn't disappoint."

The 28 voting members of the Irish Motoring Writers' Association assess each vehicle, attributing points on the basis of criteria ranging from innovation and safety, to space, comfort, build quality, driving quality and value for money.

"As with each year, the IMWA car jury provide a great service for Irish motorists in helping them to make sense of the bewildering array of new cars that has been launched in Ireland this year," said Paddy Murphy of Continental Tyres Ireland, Irish Car of the Year sponsor. "The list of candidates for this year's award is an eclectic one with a lot of quality in it - it won't be an easy choice for the jurors."

A shortlist of vehicles will be announced in the coming weeks. Last year the Continental Irish Car of the Year title went to the Kia Rio, while the van accolade was won by the Volkswagen Crafter.