Volkswagen picked up two further awards. It claimed top prize in the small family car category for the Volkswagen Golf for the fourth consecutive year, and won the Safety Award for its City Emergency Braking System on the Up.
For the full list of winners see What Car? Awards 2012 website
What Car? editor-in-chief Chas Hallett said: 'The Volkswagen Up is the best car we've seen this year because it combines refinement, quality, space and economy. It sets new standards for the 10,000 price bracket. It feels at home in town and copes admirably on the motorway; it is the right car for the time.
'German brands have done exceptionally well in the What Car? Awards this year, taking 10 out of the 16 category wins as well as the overall prize.'
Dr Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Brand with responsibility for Development, collected the award and commented: 'We are very grateful for this award which recognises the achievements and qualities of our new small car, the Up.
'We set out to design a car which would combine Volkswagen values and maximum space in a distilled and compact package; a car which embodies the pure essence of the brand.
'From its modern, clean and efficient engines, through its class-leading safety features to its innovative infotainment system, it is a design which encapsulates modern urban mobility.
'Furthermore, the Up is not a standalone product, but the first child in a new small car family. Groundbreaking Volkswagen models including a fully electric version, the Up Blue-e-Motion which is due in 2013, will also join the family, and other Volkswagen Group brands will also benefit from its arrival.
'We are very excited about our new car and are delighted that the influential judges at What Car? magazine clearly share our views on the Up.'
A total of 17 awards covering all categories of cars were given out at the What Car? Awards.
What Car? Car of the Year Awards winners
What Car? Car of the Year Awards 2012: Overall Winner