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Car of the Year Awards 2024: Readers' Choice
What Car? readers were given a 14-car shortlist, and asked to vote for the upcoming model that they're most excited about seeing in showrooms...
The Renault 5 already has a What Car? trophy to its name, having won the Readers’ Choice poll at our Electric Car Awards a few months back. Repeating that feat at our Car of the Year Awards is no small achievement, but in the final tally, the 5 collected almost twice as many votes as our second-place contender.
With styling cues from the much-loved original Renault 5 (discontinued in the 1990s), the new electric hatchback goes up rivals such as the Fiat 500 and Mini Cooper. Crucially, if you opt for the version with a 52kWh battery, it will be able to go farther than those rivals; its official range is 249 miles. With the smaller, 40kWh battery, that figure is likely to fall to around 200 miles.
When you need to plug it in, the 5 should accept a charge at the same rate as its larger Megane E-Tech electric sibling, so a 10-80% top-up could take only around 30 minutes via a rapid public charger.
Power comes from a single 134bhp electric motor; for anyone who thinks that sounds a bit tame, Renault’s performance arm, Alpine, is working on its own version. Dubbed the Alpine A290, it promises more power and a 0-62mph sprint time of less than 7.0sec.
Inside, the 5 will share its 9.0in infotainment screen with the Megane, in which it is quite easy to use. And while we haven’t yet sat inside the 5, we expect it to have space for four adults, with a big enough boot for their shopping.
As with the original, the new 5 should be attractively cheap to buy. With an estimated price of around £22,000, it’s likely to undercut its Fiat and Mini rivals considerably.
2nd - Kia EV3
It may be the smallest model yet to bear Kia’s EV branding, but the new EV3 will stand on the shoulders of giants. After all, the Kia EV6 was our 2022 overall Car of the Year, and the seven-seat EV9 was our Readers’ Choice last year. Judging by the concept version we’ve seen so far, the EV3 will echo the design of its larger siblings inside and out, and – like those cars – it will offer a variety of battery and motor combinations.
Expect range-topping versions to pack 302bhp and every model to offer at least 250 miles of official range. Good interior space was a design priority for the concept, so expect the production Kia EV3 to be practical for its size.
3rd - Peugeot e-3008
Whether electric power, petrol or a combination of the two takes your fancy, the Peugeot 3008 has you covered. In electric e-3008 form, it can officially cover 435 miles on a charge – enough to go from Manchester to London and back – and its 520-litre boot beats the rival Kia EV6’s.
Inside, Peugeot’s trademark i-Cockpit dashboard has you looking over a small steering wheel at a 21in curved screen, which serves as both a digital instrument cluster and an infotainment screen.
A plug-in hybrid version will arrive soon after the e-3008, with a cheaper mild hybrid petrol joining the line-up later in the year.
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