A night at the What Car? awards...
The annual WhatCar? awards, took place last night, with MotorEasy once again, headline sponsors.
The automotive industry’s answer to the Oscars held it’s 44th award ceremony, which first began back in 1978.
This year WhatCar? crowned winners in 24 individual categories, including awards for the best sports car, best plug-in hybrid, reliability, luxury and of course, the overall car of the year!
Check out our official list of winners for the night, and let us know which is your favourite…
Car of the Year – Volkswagen ID Buzz
The prize of the night, the Car of the Year, the Volkswagen ID Buzz! Not only is it the car of the year, but the ID Buzz was also awarded best large electric vehicle.
It’s retro appearance takes inspiration from the campervans of the ‘60s and ‘70s and takes the crown for ‘combining the practicality of an MPV, with the comfort and desirability of a luxury SUV’.
WhatCar? editor Steve Huntingford described the ID.Buzz as “Great to drive, wonderful to be in, has more space than most families could ever ask for, and substantially undercuts many SUC rivals on a monthly finance deal.”
WhatCar?’s experts say the Volkswagen ID Buzz has plenty of consumer appeal, due to it’s all electric range of 260 miles as well as boasting a charge time of less than half an hour.
Although, it may not appeal to everyone. With prices starting from £57,000, the electric campervan will stretch most budgets.
This is not the first time an electric vehicle has won the prestigious award; previous winners have included 2022’s Kia EV6 and 2019’s Kia E-Niro.
Best small car – Honda Jazz
First up, the Honda Jazz won the opening award for the best small car, beating the runner’s up Dacia Sandero, Ford Fiesta and Mini Electric.
This petrol-electric hybrid offers one of the most spacious interiors in its class, although is less budget-friendly than rivals.
Best family SUV – Kia Sportage
Last year’s Car Of the Year winners, Kia, took home the prize for best Family SUV for their Sportage. The Kia Sportage, is described by WhatCar? as striking an “ideal balance between agility and comfort” and offers a mild hybrid, plug-in hybrid and petrol version (although WhatCar? experts recommend the petrol version for it’s better value).
Best sports car – Porsche 718 Cayman
It’s no surprise that Porsche won the award for best sports car, for their 718 Cayman, following their record for the third year in a row. The Porsche 718 Cayman comes with a 4.0-litre six-cylinder engine and produces 395 bhp, and is described by What Car? as “light and nimble enough to leave rivals trailing in the corners, and civilised enough to be your daily drive.”
Best for reliability - Lexus
For the sixth consecutive year in a row, the luxury Toyota-owned brand, Lexus, won this year’s reliability award. In the words of WhatCar?, it’s essentially because their cars rarely go wrong. The Lexus CT family hatchback was crowned the most durable model, with a reliability rating of 99.3%, closely followed by the Lexus UX family SUV, which scored an excellent 99.0% rating.
Best for performance – Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo 4S
Alongside the best sports car award, Porsche also topped the category for best performance car.
Described by WhatCar? as ‘the electric nature actually enhances the driving thrills', the Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo is as fast as flicking a switch.
Best plug-in hybrid – Lexus NX
Lexus received their second award of the night, as their Lexus NX won best plug-in hybrid. With a range of 43 miles, the brand’s first plug-in hybrid offers much lower petrol costs (if plugged in regularly!)
Best hot-hatch - Hyundai i20N
The hot hatch category is all about a fun driving experience in a compact car and the i20N keeps enjoyment high and costs low. The precise steering helps to place the car where you want it and, “it’s guaranteed to paint a huge smile on your face.”
Small SUV: Volkswagen T-Roc
Considered better value than ever before, the new T-Roc impresses in its entry-level trim and engine choice. The interior feels high quality and it comes with all the features you’ll need. There’s plenty of room for rear passengers and all round practicality is its strong suit.
Seven Seater: Hyundai Santa Fe
Successfully seating seven, the Santa Fe offers good width in the second row to seat three six-footers and the rear seats have a good amount of leg room. The seating is also flexible if you’re looking for more boot space, the rear and middle row fold at the touch of a button.
Executive car: Tesla Model 3 RWD
Offering a great company car solution, Model 3 owners will only pay benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax at a rate of 2%. Range sits at over 300 miles so it’s suitable for most journeys and of course, having a Tesla, means you can access Tesla’s Supercharger network.
Luxury car: Range Rover Sport P440e Dynamic SE
Sink into a 20-way adjustable seat and the luxury cruising begins. Surrounded by plush materials and chrome details, the Sport’s interior is complemented by minimal road noise and cushioning air suspension that glides over imperfections in the road.
Small electric car: MG4 EV SE
The MG4 is up to £10,000 cheaper than close EV competitors. Its low price tag doesn’t mean there’s compromises elsewhere though, it’s got plenty of tech, over 200 miles of range and good practicality.
Estate: Skoda Superb Estate
The Superb Estate does what it says on the tin: it’s a superb estate. WhatCar? described it as “endlessly versatile and a joy to use.” There’s acres of boot space and passengers can stretch out in their seats and enjoy a comfy interior with lots of leg room.
Coupé: BMW 4 Series 420i M Sport (M Sport Pro Package)
Taking the award for the third year in a row, the 4 Series Coupe is popular for its fun driving experience and good practicality if you need to carry a couple of passengers. BMW’s infotainment system is easy to use and far less distracting than a touchscreen.
Electric SUV: Genesis GV60 RWD Premium
Fairly new to the UK market, Genesis is making big waves already. Fast charging and over 300 miles of range make the GV60 a great long distance cruiser and the quilted leather seats make any journey enjoyable.
Convertible: BMW 4 Series Convertible 420i M Sport (M Sport Pro Package)
Something of a bargain compared to close rivals, the 4 Series comes with heated leather seats and three zone climate control. In the back there’s a good amount of head space with the roof up and in 4 Series style, it’s great fun to drive.
Sports SUV: Ford Puma ST
A sports SUV mixes practicality with sports-car-like driving. The lightweight Puma ST is nimble through corners and has excellent body control and precise steering. If you’re not in the mood to drive with a lead foot it’s also quite cheap to run.
Reader Award: Kia EV9
Voted the top of a 14 car shortlist, the EV9 is the most eagerly anticipated new car to land this year. Closely related to the Car of the Year winner last year: the Kia EV6, the bigger EV9 sibling is set to be even more practical and quick to charge.
Tow Car Award: Audi Q5 40 TDI quattro Sport
With a max towing capacity of up to 2,400kg, the Q5 should be more than capable of towing any caravan or trailer. Great pulling power and a swift emergency lane change impressed the judges and it was felt the Q5 was the best towing all rounder.
Technology Award: BMW i7
BMW’s 31-inch theatre screen in 8K ultra-high definition is probably better quality than most of our TVs at home so you can see the appeal for passengers to make the most of streaming services in the back of an i7. Alternatively it can be used for work with a HDMI connector for your laptop.
Efficiency Award: Tesla Model 3 RWD
Tesla wins with the lowest cost per mile at 8.5 per mile, based on WhatCar?’s real range tests. Beating cars with larger, heavier batteries, the Model 3 balances the right size battery and vehicle weight to maximise range capabilities.
Safety Award: Tesla Model Y
The Tesla Model Y is the best performing vehicle in EuroNCAP safety testing with a score of 364 out of a possible 400. Active and passive safety measures mean safety for adult occupants is rated at 98%. The Model Y is also a strong seller in this country so safer vehicles equal safer roads.
Let us know if you own any of the winning vehicles, and stay tuned for more award fun in 2024...