Taken from the shortlist for the World Car of the Year award, the three models were picked out by a panel of five design experts from around the world, with the winning car set to be announced at the New York International Auto Show on 1 April.
Citroen, whose C4 design won the award in 2006, has now had a finalist in each of the last four years. The C3 Picasso MPV was lauded on its debut in 2009 for the ‘magic box silhouette’ and rounded, stylish exterior.
This is the first year Kia and Chevrolet has had a model included in the final three for the design award.
The Kia Soul urban-crossover has already won a ‘Red Dot’ design award in 2009 – the first Korean car ever to do so.
In 2009, Fiat took the award for the 500 city car ahead of the Jaguar XF and Citroen C5.
The awards, decided by automotive experts and journalists around the world, will also boast World Car of the Year, Green Car of the Year and World Performance Car of the Year awards.
Candidates for World Car of the Year include the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Toyota Prius and the Volkswagen Polo.
The Toyota Prius is also up for World Green Car along with the Honda Insight and Volkswagen Bluemotion Golf and Passat models.
Performance car heavyweights Audi (R8 V10), Ferrari (California) and Porsche (911 GT3) will compete for the Word Performance Car award.