2017 What Car? Car of the Year Award winners – where are they now?
In January we'll name the very best new cars at the 2018 What Car? Car of the Year Awards, but how have last year's winners stood the test of time?...
2017 What Car? Car of the Year Award winners – where are they now?
It's the accolade every car maker wants to win – and on Wednesday 23rd January 2018 we'll name the winners of the annual What Car? Car of the Year Awards.
Across 21 separate categories, we'll tell you which are the very best new cars on sale, from city cars to family cars, small and large SUVs, electric cars and even sports cars. Plus one will be crowned as our overall Car of the Year for 2018, recognised as moving the game on more than any other new model.
Before then, though, let's look back at our current champions from 2017's awards, as well as the newer cars hoping to knock them off their perches.
Best city car: Hyundai i10 1.2 Premium SE
Hyundai's small and frugal runabout has been our star in this category since 2014, impressing us with its classy interior and smooth engine. This year, though, there's a brand new Kia Picanto to consider, as well as class favourites including the Skoda Citigo, Seat Mii and Volkswagen Up.
Best small car: Skoda Fabia 1.2 TSI 90 SE
The Skoda Fabia has taken class honours here for three years running – such is the breadth of its talents. It remains a very tempting small car, too, although our preferred engine is now a peppy 1.0-litre petrol. There's also the new Seat Ibiza to consider, plus a new version of the UK's best-selling car, the Ford Fiesta.
Best family car: Audi A3 Sportback 1.4 TFSI 150 Sport
We're big fans of the Audi A3, especially in five-door Sportback form. The sporty yet stylish 1.4-litre petrol model impressed us enough to win last year, but how will it fare against rivals including the recently updated Skoda Octavia and the premium BMW 1 Series?
Best small SUV: Seat Ateca 1.4 EcoTSI 150 SE
The Ateca was one of last year's surprises, in that it successfully de-throned the Nissan Qashqai as our favourite small SUV after the former's three-year reign. This year, we've broadened our SUV horizons to include a new family SUV category alongside existing small, large and luxury SUV categories, which means the Ateca's sibling, the Arona, is now in contention for this award while the Ateca itself moves up to the family SUV category. Key rivals here include the Renault Captur and Volkswagen T-Roc.
Best large SUV: Skoda Kodiaq 2.0 TDI 150 4x4 SE 7st
Last year, the new Skoda Kodiaq saw off stiff competition from the Mazda CX-5 and Land Rover Discovery Sport to be crowned as our champion in this category. This year, there's a new Audi Q5 to consider as well as Peugeot's revitalised 5008 and the updated Nissan X-Trail.
Best luxury SUV: Audi Q7 3.0 TDI 272 quattro SE
Cars in this category need to be comfortable over long distances, luxurious inside and have enough space to carry you and your family across entire continents and still emerging fresh at the end. Fortunately, the Audi Q7 has already proven it's among the best in this market, but now there's a new Land Rover Discovery just waiting to claim its throne, plus the storming Range Rover Velar to consider too.
Best MPV: Volkswagen Touran 1.6 TDI 115 SE
The global market for MPVs – and particularly diesel MPVs – is shrinking fast, but for those who don't want an SUV cars like the Touran still hold some appeal. Can the Touran make it a hat-trick of wins, though? Or will rivals like the Fiat 500L or Renault Grand Scenic prove to be better all-rounders this year?
Best estate car: Skoda Superb Estate 2.0 TDI 150 SE Technology
This more spacious version of the Superb is another winner that's held onto its title for some time, having been first crowned as our top estate in 2016. Its combination of classy interior, gargantuan space and smooth engines will be hard to top, but the new BMW 5 Series Touring will surely try, as will the Mercedes E-Class All-Terrain.
Best hot hatchback: Ford Fiesta ST-2 3dr
The Fiesta ST has been our favourite hot hatchback for a long time now, but with the arrival of an all-new Fiesta this old model is no longer eligable. So, will 2018's winner be a premium rival such as BMW's M140i, a storming new contender such as the Hyundai i30N? Or perhaps last year's Reader Award Winner, the Honda Civic Type R?
Best convertible: Mazda MX-5 2.0 SE-L Nav
Mazda's latest MX-5 remains a truly fantastic convertible, and few rivals can match its sheer value for money or driving enjoyment, especially at what remains a very low price. New entries this year, though, include the Abarth 124 Spider and Audi A5 Cabriolet.
Best coupé: Audi TT 1.8 TFSI Sport
The TT's current run of victories in this category stretches back to 2015, and it remains one of our favourites in this class. It's entertaining to drive, practical enough to live with every day and has one of the finest interiors around. Will new rivals such as the Mercedes E-Class Coupé or Lexus LC prove to be more well-rounded contenders, though?
Best sports car: Porsche 718 Cayman 2.0
Despite not sounding as good as it used to, the 718 Cayman remains a terrific sports car, and even manages to represent value for money in a class where starting prices can quickly extend to six figures. Can it hold on to class honours for 2018, though? We've seen plenty of new contenders arrive, including the McLaren 570S Spider and the latest BMW M5 too.
Best electric car: Renault Zoe Q90 Z.E. 40 Dynamique Nav
A full year on from its win and the Zoe remains one of our favourite electric cars, thanks to its quiet driving style and low running costs. Its biggest challenger this time around is the new Nissan Leaf, which promises greater range and more comfort, plus there's an updated Volkswagen e-Golf to consider too.
You can also see how we've been getting on with running a Zoe on our long-term fleet.
Best executive car: Audi A4 3.0 TDI 218 Sport
The A4 was our overall Car of the Year in 2016, and clung on to its class honours last year in the hotly contested executive category. It's still a strong choice in this market, but new entries such as the Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport or Volkswagen Arteon could shake things up.
Best luxury car: BMW 520d SE
Last year, class stalwarts such as the Mercedes S-Class saloon and Rolls-Royce Ghost were swept aside by the storming new BMW 5 Series. Its interior quality shamed cars which cost double its price tag to own, and it shone dynamically too. The new 5 Series was so good, in fact, that it went on to become our overall Car of the Year winner for 2017.
The luxury car stakes remain strong this year, with the 5 Series facing a renwed challenge chiefly from the facelifted Mercedes S-class.