First UK Car of the Year Award for Korean marque as new 12-plate cars go on sale

London, 1st March 2012: CarBuyer, the expert car review website, can today announce the results of its Car of the Year awards for 2012.

In a surprising win, Korean manufacturer Hyundai has claimed its first UK Car of the Year award for its new i30 model. The i30 was also named Best Family Car.

Steve Fowler, Editor-in-Chief of CarBuyer, said: “This is a clear sign of how far Korean companies have come in recent years, with their cars now as sought-after as Korean technology products such as TVs and mobile phones.

“The i30 is a great all-rounder – it’s stylish, practical, well built and good to drive. On top of that, it’s great value, cheap to run and comes with peace-of-mind as standard with a five-year warranty.”

Tony Whitehorn, President and CEO, Hyundai Motor UK, said: “Winning the CarBuyer ‘Car of the Year’ title is a huge honour for us and a fantastic endorsement from one of the most popular automotive consumer websites for the New Generation i30 . It really reinforces the strength of our offering to our customers.
“We believe that the New Generation i30, on sale in the UK on March 12, offers the best overall package and value for money in its segment backed up with a stylish design and improved levels of refinement. It will appeal to progressive and discerning buyers who want a car that looks great, performs well and is backed by one of the industry’s best warranties in the form of our Five Year Triple Care package.”

Another Korean car maker, Kia, won two awards, including the Green Award for the 88mpg Kia Rio and the Best 4×4 Award for the Sportage.

British successes included the Range Rover Evoque, named best Luxury 4×4, and Vauxhall’s Astra GTC, which took the best coupé award.

CarBuyer’s Buyer’s Award went to Renault for its 4+ programme, which offers buyers four years’ warranty, servicing, roadside assistance and low-rate finance. “It’s a great package on some great cars,” said Steve Fowler.

CarBuyer has set a new standard for awards by concentrating on the overall package for buyers. The team of experts at CarBuyer has used criteria in line with what really matters to users – focusing on running costs, safety, mpg, performance and owner satisfaction, as well as reliability and comfort. CarBuyer has set out to pick the best cars across 18 different, buyer-focused categories – and named an overall champion, the CarBuyer Car of the Year.

Car of the Year For a full list of winners, see below:

  • Best City Car VW Up!
  • Best Small Car Ford Fiesta
  • Best Luxury Small Car Audi A1
  • Best Family Car Hyundai i30
  • Best Large Family Car Ford Mondeo
  • Best Estate Car Skoda Superb
  • Best Hot Hatchback Suzuki Swift Sport
  • Best Executive Car BMW 3 Series
  • Best Large Executive Car BMW 5 Series
  • Best Luxury Car Mercedes S-Class
  • Best MPV SEAT Alhambra
  • Best 4×4 Kia Sportage
  • Best Luxury 4×4 Range Rover Evoque
  • Best Convertible Volkswagen Golf Cabrio
  • Best Coupé Vauxhall Astra GTC
  • Best Green Car Kia Rio 1.1 CRDi
  • Buyer’s Award Renault 4+
  • CAR OF THE YEAR Hyundai i30