What Car? Car of the Year 2019 – the winners revealed
From city cars to convertibles and from SUVs to sports cars, we've named the very best new cars of 2019 and crowned one overall champion...
What Car? has named the Kia e-Niro electric vehicle as its 2019 Car of the Year during its 42nd annual awards ceremony, held in association with Warranty Direct and BNP Paribas Cardif.
The Kia e-Niro beat 23 other category winners to take the overall title, becoming the first electric car to win the prestigious What Car? Car of the Year Award.
Victory for the e-Niro, which has a Real Range of 253 miles, also represents the first time Kia has taken the top prize at the ceremony.
The success for an electric car comes at the beginning of a big year for the EV market, with several major manufacturers, including Audi, Honda and Mercedes-Benz, all planning to launch new electric models in 2019.
2019 What Car? Car of the Year Awards – what we said
WINNER - Kia Picanto
What we said: "The Kia Picanto's lengthy list of standard equipment is combined with great space, performance and comfort, which explains why it's now won the City Car of the Year Award two years in a row. It's a huge amount of car for the money."
WINNER - Volkswagen Polo
What we said: "The Polo sets the standard for comfort, practicality and refinement in the small car class, while its frugal 1.0-litre petrol engine and strong resale values make it a good long-term buy, and Volkswagen has kept the pricing sensible. There are no weaknesses in its armour."
WINNER - Skoda Octavia
What we said: "The Octavia remains the best family car on sale, and by quite some margin, because it's comfortable, well equipped, temptingly priced and a lot more practical than all its rivals."
WINNER - Seat Arona
What we said: "It may be a small SUV, but the Arona has a large number of things going for it. Not only is it more practical than most rivals, but it's very well priced and feels grown-up to drive, with a settled, sophisticated ride and tidy cornering manners."
WINNER - Volvo XC40
What we said: "Last year’s Car of the Year retains its position as the very best family SUV you can buy. It's as plush as it is practical, and the engines that have been added to the line-up in the last 12 months only add to its appeal."
WINNER - Peugeot 5008
What we said: "The 5008 matches the quality and tech found in much more expensive SUVs, yet is cheaper to run, more practical and at least as stylish. It deserves to be the go-to choice for larger families."
WINNER - Audi Q7
What we said: "As an all-rounder, the Audi Q7 simply outshines anything else in the luxury SUV class. It rides more plushly than its rivals, has a great infotainment system that's easy to get along with and is incredibly hushed at any speed. In fact, it racked up more stars in our test critera than any other car on sale today."
WINNER - Cupra Ateca
What we said: "Cupra has managed to produce a car that’s every bit as fun to drive as more expensive rivals, despite undercutting them by thousands of pounds. In terms of smiles per mile, it's unsurpassed in the SUV market."
WINNER - Citroën Berlingo
What we said: "The Berlingo offers so much for so little. You’ll be hard pushed to find something quite so cavernous for the money. And with a ride that’s comfier than that of rivals which cost a lot more, similar levels of performance and economy that’s more than palatable, you’ll find the Berlingo a great place to do miles."
WINNER - Skoda Superb Estate
What we said: "Space is the name of the game in the estate car class, and so the Skoda Superb Estate wins for the fourth year in a row. With masses of storage room and palatial comfort for passengers, it’s a brilliant family wagon."
WINNER - Honda Civic Type R
What we said: "The Civic Type R is a hot hatch that's easy to live with, because it has a comfortable ride and averaged more than 35mpg in our True MPG fuel test? And yet when you take your sensible hat off it’s also utterly and extraordinarily magnificent to drive."
WINNER - Mercedes Benz S-Class Cabriolet
What we said: "From its brilliant body control to its luxurious and spacious interior, the S-Class Cabriolet is an utterly fantastic drop-top. It has performance that rivals sports cars and one of the smoothest engines around."
WINNER - Audi A5 Coupe
What we said: "The Audi A5 is sleek, enjoyable to drive and surprisingly practical, while its competitive company car tax rates and strong resale values make it an even more compelling package. Overall, it offers everything a coupé buyer could possibly want."
WINNER - Alpine A110
What we said: "Alpine may have lain dormant since 1995, but the reborn A110 is a real triumph. By focusing on engagement over maximum power, it’s a car that involves its driver at sensible speeds and betters all its rivals."
WINNER - Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio
What we said: "It’s often said that getting to the top is easier than staying there. So by that reckoning, the Giulia Quadrifoglio’s second Car of the Year category win is arguably a greater success than its first. But it should be no surprise – after all, we’re talking about a comfortable, spacious, well-equipped saloon that’s more fun to drive than rivals costing tens of thousands more."
WINNER - Kia e-Niro
What we said: "Uncompromised electric car ownership has traditionally been the privilege of those able to afford high prices, which is why the e-Niro is such a game-changer. It's able to travel farther than rivals which cost more than twice as much, has more space inside than key rivals and strikes a great balance between comfort and composure. It's a fantastic acheivement."
WINNER - Hyundai Ioniq
What we said: "Most buyers considering a low-emissions car don’t want to go fully electric straight away, and that’s why hybrids continue to make a lot of sense, especially if they feel like conventional cars to drive. That’s where the Ioniq shines. While rival hybrids offer the low running costs and tax advantages that will entice buyers, it’s the Ioniq that presents the most polished all-round package. "
WINNER - Volvo XC90 T8
What we said: "As well as delivering low running costs, this plug-in hybrid version of the XC90 is the quickest model in the line-up, showing what a brilliant all-rounder it is. And unlike its rivals, Volvo has managed to retain seven seats, so going green doesn't require you to compromise on practicality."
WINNER - BMW 3 Series
What we said: "The latest BMW 3 Series is scintillating to drive, yet it also rides well and is impressively fuel efficient. That, plus a comfortable, spacious interior and brilliant infotainment system equals a car that encapsulates all of the attributes required in the executive car market – and then some."
WINNER - Volkswagen Amarok
What we said: "If you want a pick-up that can put in a hard shift during the week then become family transport at the weekend, then look no further than the Volkswagen Amarok. Modern pick-ups are expected to do it all, and this one truly does."
WINNER - BMW 5 Series
What we said: "Our 2017 Car of the Year remains the best luxury saloon on sale, being every bit as classy and relaxing as rivals that cost twice as much. In fact, we can’t find any areas in which it drops the ball – it’s the supreme luxury package without the exclusive price tag."
WINNER - Honda Urban EV
What we said: "What Car? readers clearly can’t get enough of Honda's new electric car, because the Urban EV garnered almost eight times as many votes as the model that finished second in our Reader Award poll. Put simply, it’s easily the car they’re most excited about seeing in 2019, thanks to its combination of cool, retro styling and electric power."
WINNER - Mercedes-Benz A-Class
What we said: "The A-Class gained the highest overall Euro NCAP safety marks of all the cars tested in 2018, even though these were the toughest test procedures to-date. That it managed this with one of its most affordable and family-friendly models makes this all the more impressive."
WINNER - Hyundai
What we said: "Hyundai won this award not only for building the EV with the greatest real-world range we’ve tested so far, but also for leading the way in developing the hydrogen fuel cell technology that could one day offer car buyers greater electric range without the hassle of recharging a battery."
WINNER - Kia e-Niro
What we said: "The stunning Kia e-Niro is the first sensibly priced electric car that can fit into most people’s lives."
To see the full list of winners from the 2019 What Car? Car of the Year Awards, and to find out why they won, visit our awards pages.
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