What Car? Car of the Year 2020: the shortlist

Tonight we'll name the best new cars on sale in the UK, and crown one overall champion as our Car of the Year for 2020. These are the cars in contention for our top accolade...

What Car? Car of the Year Awards 2020 - the shortlist

What Car? Car of the Year 2020 shortlist

The cars in contention to take home the overall What Car? Car of the Year Award for 2020 have been revealed.

The winner will be announced tonight at the annual What Car? Car of the Year Awards ceremony, held in association with MotorEasy.

In addition to the overall Car of the Year, What Car? will name winners in 27 categories, ranging from Small electric car to Performance car and Family car to Luxury SUV.

What Car? is renowned for its thoroughness when assessing new cars, with all models driven back to back with their rivals on road and track, and practicality, reliability and running costs all factored into its final verdicts.

As a result of this exhaustive testing over 47 years, the What Car? Awards are recognised among manufacturers as the most prestigious in the industry.

To qualify for the overall Car of the Year Award, a car has to have been launched in the previous 12 months, and it needs to be available to order by the time of the ceremony.

Click through this slideshow for more information about each car, as well as links to our full written reviews of each model, and to What Car? New Car Buying, where we guarantee to find you a great deal. Cars are presented in alphabetical order.

Audi E-tron

Audi E-tron front three quarters

Save money on a new Audi E-tron with What Car? >>

Other electric cars can go farther in the real world, but the E-tron still impresses with a cosetting ride and a luxurious interior.

Read our full Audi E-tron review >>

Audi Q3 Sportback

Audi Q3 Sportback front three quarters

We like the regular Audi Q3, but if you want a dollop of extra style added to the mix the Q3 Sportback’s the way to go. It’s still good to drive, decently refined and comes with that up-market Audi interior. It’s comfortable, too, with a well-composed ride.

Read our full Audi Q3 Sportback review >>

Audi Q8

Audi Q8

Save money on a new Audi Q8 with What Car? >>

The Q8 takes a lot of what we love about the Audi Q7 – its stunning interior, for example – and packages it into the sleek bodywork of an SUV-coupé. The Q8 also offers decent space and is very quiet on the move.

Read our full Audi Q8 review >>

BMW 1 Series

BMW 1 Series long-term front tracking 2

Save money on a new BMW 1 Series with What Car? >>

BMW’s new family hatchback has an excellent infotainment system and entertaining handling, and its diesel engines are efficient.

Read our full BMW 1 Series review >>

BMW 3 Series Touring

BMW 3 Series Touring driving

Save money on a new BMW 3 Series Touring with What Car? >>

Takes everything we love about the regular 3 Series saloon – its stunning interior, decent engines and enjoyable handling – and adds a big boot. What’s not to like?

Read our full BMW 3 Series Touring review >>

BMW 8 Series

8 Series Gran Coupé 2019 left tracking shot

The 8 Series Gran Coupe strikes an excellent balance between sportiness and comfort. It rides and handles well, is luxurious inside and has all the style you’d expect from a four-door coupe. 

Read our full BMW 8 Series Gran Coupé review >>



Save money on a new BMW X7 with What Car? >>

Its looks might be divisive, but behind the X7’s massive front grille lies a car with a brilliantly built interior, an outstanding infotainment system and a comfortable ride.

Read our full BMW X7 review >>

Ford Puma

Ford Puma 2020 front left tracking LHD

The Puma name returns on a small SUV with mild-hybrid engines and more space than its key rivals. The Puma has already impressed us by being fun to drive and by having a big boot with lots of cleverly arranged space.

Read our full Ford Puma review >>

Kia Soul

Kia Soul EV front three quarters

Save money on a new Kia Soul EV with What Car? >>

Can lightning strike twice? Kia is hoping so, having packaged the e-Niro’s battery and electric motor into a larger SUV body. Funky looks aside, the Soul EV promises the same big range and impressive kit list as its smaller sibling.

Read our full Kia Soul EV review >>

Mazda 3

Mazda 3 driving

Save money on a new Mazda 3 with What Car? >>

Interior quality and excellent infotainment are both stand-out qualities in Mazda’s latest Ford Focus rival.

Read our full Mazda 3 review >>

Mazda CX-30

Mazda CX-30

Save money on a new Maxda CX-30 with What Car? >>

Slotting in between the existing CX-3 and CX-5 SUVs, the new CX-30 features Mazda’s SkyActiv-X petrol engine, which promises fuel economy comparative with a diesel.

Read our full Mazda CX-30 review >>

Mercedes CLA

Mercedes CLA

Save money on a new Mercedes CLA with What Car? >>

The CLA is the smallest coupé Mercedes makes, and impresses with its tidy handling, smart interior and excellent infotainment system.

Read our full Mercedes CLA review >>

Mercedes EQC

Mercedes-Benz EQC front three quarters

Save money on a new Mercedes-Benz EQC with What Car? >>

Mercedes’ first electric SUV impressed us with its quiet manner and comfortable ride. It also returned a decent real-world range of 208 miles.

Read our full Mercedes-Benz EQC review >>


MG HS front

Save money on a new MG HS with What Car? >>

The HS costs far less than most rivals, yet comes well equipped and has a plush interior. That it also rides well and has impressive handling is an added bonus.

Read our full MG HS review >>


MG ZS EV front three quarters

The MG ZS EV offers a lot of value for money, especially for anyone wanting to try electric motoring on a budget. There’s plenty of room for passengers, a big boot, and every version comes well equipped.

Read our full MG ZS EV review >>

Nissan Juke

2020 Nissan Juke front

The latest Juke continues to offer the stand-out looks of its predecessor but improves on just about everything else. A smart interior and a good driving position are just two highlights.

Read our full Nissan Juke review >>

Peugeot 208

Peugeot 208 2019 front left cornering (LHD)

Funky looks aside, the latest 208 impresses with a smart interior and a vast array of standard safety kit.

Read our full Peugeot 208 review >>

Polestar 1

Polestar 1 front three quarters

With more electric range than most plug-in hybrids and the pace to out-gun most sports cars, the Polestar 1 has the substance to back up its Scandi-cool looks.

Read our full Polestar 1 review >>

Porsche 911

2019 Porsche 911 (992) front

Save money on a new Porsche 911 with What Car? >>

The 911 is a thrilling sports car. It’s seriously rapid and great to drive on all types of roads. If you pick the coupe rather than the roadster, you get a pair of tiny rear seats that make it slightly more practical than two-seater alternatives. 

Read our full Porsche 911 review >>

Porsche Cayenne Coupe

Porsche Cayenne Coupé front

Save money on a new Porsche Cayenne Coupé with What Car? >>

If the regular Cayenne is a bit too much SUV for you and its shape doesn’t cut the mustard, check out the coupe version. It’s 20mm lower with a sloping roofline that sharpens up the looks. Keen handling and a classy interior are further plus points.

Read our full Porsche Cayenne Coupé review >>

Range Rover Evoque

Range Rover Evoque 2.0 D180 S

Save money on a new Range Rover Evoque with What Car? >>

The second-generation Evoque improves on its predecessor in just about every way – it’s well equipped, has a great driving position and good to drive.

Read our full Range Rover Evoque review >>

Renault Clio

Renault Clio 2019 right front cornering RHD

Save money on a new Renault Clio with What Car? >>

A range of class-leading safety kit and a practical boot means there’s plenty to like about Renault’s smallest car.

Read our full Renault Clio review >>

Seat Mii Electric

Seat Mii Electric 2019 front cornering

Save money on a new Seat Mii Electric with What Car? >>

Seat’s Mii city car gets electric power and a price tag which makes it affordable for many. Its official range is 162 miles, which is more than most rivals will get you.

Read our full Seat Mii Electric review >>

Skoda Kamiq

Skoda Kamiq front

Save money on a new Skoda Kamiq with What Car? >>

Skoda’s take on the small SUV is remarkably practical, and comes with nifty features designed to make family life as easy as possible. It’s also good to drive and classier inside than most rivals.

Read our full Skoda Kamiq review >>

Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3 front three quarters

Save money on a new Tesla Model 3 with What Car? >>

The Model 3 was one of 2019’s most anticipated new cars, and it didn’t disappoint. It can travel up to 239 miles on a single charge in real-world conditions, has a futuristic interior, offers eye-widening acceleration and it’s surprisingly practical too.

Read our full Tesla Model 3 review >>

Toyota Corolla

Toyota Corolla Hybrid Design 1.8 VVT-i

Save money on a new Toyota Corolla with What Car? >>

Drive the Corolla and you’ll enjoy seriously low running costs, as well as a comfortable ride and all the kit which comes as standard.

Read our full Toyota Corolla review >>

Toyota RAV4

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Design 2.5 AWD Automatic

Save money on a new Toyota RAV4 with What Car? >>

Heard the one about the SUV that pumps out less CO2 than a 1.0-litre Ford Fiesta? Well, thanks to its frugal hybrid system, the RAV4 is the car that does that, combining this attribute with several other capabilities to make for a seriously tempting proposition.

Read our full Toyota RAV4 review >>

Toyota Supra

Toyota Supra front

Save money on a new Toyota Supra with What Car? >>

Toyota borrowed heavily from the BMW Z4 for the Supra. It shares the M40i’s 3.0-litre turbocharged engine, as well as its gearbox and suspension, making it entertaining to drive. It also has a comfortable ride and enough practicality to make it a useable everyday car.

Read our full Toyota Supra review >>

Volkswagen T-Cross

Volkswagen T-Cross

Save money on a new Volkswagen T-Cross with What Car? >>

The smaller of the two Volkswagen-badged SUVs which appear in this category comes with an impressive array of safety kit. It also offers a smooth ride and a spacious, flexible interior.

Read our full Volkswagen T-Cross review >>

Volvo V60

Volvo V60 front three quarters

Save money on a new Volvo V60 with What Car? >>

Volvo does estate cars very well indeed, and the latest V60 continues that tradition, offering well-balanced ride and handling, a smart but airy interior and excellent space for both people and luggage.

Read our full Volvo V60 review >>

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