PROFESSIONAL DRIVER CAR OF THE YEAR AWARDS 2013
Mercedes-Benz E300 Bluetec Hybrid is voted Professional Driver Car magazine’s Car of the Year for 2013
- Mercedes-Benz E300 Bluetec Hybrid hailed as “game-changer” for chauffeur sector
- Class wins for Audi A8L, Mercedes-Benz Viano, Skoda Superb and new Range-Rover
The Mercedes-Benz E300 Bluetec Hybrid is Professional Driver magazine’s Car of the Year for 2013. The executive saloon has been voted the number one choice for the Chauffeuring and Private Hire industry thanks to its outstanding fuel economy and low CO2 emissions. These result from a well-packaged diesel hybrid powertrain that does not compromise rear seat luxury or boot space.
The Mercedes-Benz E300 Bluetec Hybrid also won both the Executive Car of the Year category and the Green Car of the Year category in the Professional Driver Car of the Year awards, the first time any car has triumphed in more than one category.
Mark Bursa, Editor of Professional Driver magazine and chairman of the judging panel, said: “The Mercedes-Benz E300 Bluetec Hybrid is a genuine game-changer. It’s really the car chauffeurs have been waiting for. It’s a truly green luxury hybrid car without any compromise to rear seat or luggage space.”
The judges were impressed with the Mercedes-Benz E300 Bluetec Hybrid’s safety features, incorporated as part of an extensive facelift to the whole E-class range earlier in the year. But it was the exceptional fuel economy (68.9mpg combined) and CO2 emission (109g/km) that gave the car the edge. Even with a higher purchase price, its pence-per-mile running costs for a typical chauffeur were significantly lower than its rivals.
Mark Bursa continued: “With so many blue-chip companies demanding that their suppliers have eco-friendly credentials, it’s vital that chauffeur operators have demonstrably green cars on their fleets. Already we’re seeing many chauffeur fleets switching over en masse to this Mercedes-Benz E300 Bluetec Hybrid.”
In the Executive Car of the Year category, the Mercedes-Benz E300 Bluetec Hybrid finished ahead of the Volvo V70 D3 and the Audi A6 2.0 TDI SE. In the Green Car of the Year category – for electric or hybrid cars emitting less than 110g/km of CO2 – the Mercedes-Benz E300 Bluetec Hybrid finished ahead of the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid and the Peugeot 3008 HYbrid4.
Professional Driver Chauffeur Car of the Year Category
The Chauffeur Car of the Year Category was won by the Audi A8L, ahead of the BMW 730Ld and Jaguar XJL 3.0D.
Mark Bursa said: “This category always produces the closest result, and this year is no exception, with just a handful of points separating the top three cars.The Audi A8L edges it on low running costs, excellent manufacturer support and, perhaps crucially, its four-wheel drive ability.”
Professional Driver Luxury SUV of the Year Category
Professional Driver’s Luxury SUV of the Year category reflects the fact that many chauffeurs use luxury 4x4 SUVs to make sure they can get through the winter snow and ice. The 2013 winner was the Range-Rover Autobiography 3.0TDI, which was praised for its distinctive styling and superb dynamics. The Mercedes ML350 TDI finished second in the category, with the Audi Q7 3.0 TDI in third.
Mark Bursa said: “This year’s winner is one of the most significant new cars to be launched in the past 12 months. The Range Rover Autobiography combines real limousine luxury with outstanding go-anywhere performance. Our Luxury SUV of the Year is every inch a true chauffeur car.”
Professional Driver MPV of the Year Category
For private hire and chauffeur operators alike, people-movers are increasingly vital. MPVs fulfil a wide variety of roles, everything from airport runs to mobile boardrooms. This year there was further success for Mercedes-Benz, as the Mercedes-Benz Viano 2.2CDI Ambiente LWB was voted the most suitable MPV for chauffeuring and private hire.
Mark Bursa commented: “Our 2013 MPV of the Year is a vehicle that has enjoyed record sales this year. For many chauffeurs, its combination of space, prestige and affordability make the Mercedes-Benz But our 2013 MPV of the Year is a vehicle that has enjoyed record sales this year. For many chauffeurs, its combination of space, prestige and affordability make the Mercedes-Benz Viano the only game in town.
Professional Driver Private Hire Car of the Year Category
The Skoda Superb 2.0 TDI SE has once again been crowned the best car for Britain’s private hire and minicab drivers, winning the 2013 Private Hire Car of the Year category for the fourth time since the awards began in 2009.
Mark Bursa said: “The Skoda Superb could be purpose-designed for Private Hire operators. Rear legroom and luggage space is way ahead of any direct competitors, while revised styling and cleaner powertrains have added to its appeal.” There was a double celebration for Skoda, with the new Rapid 1.6 TDI S hatchback coming third in the Private Hire category, behind the runner-up, the Volkswagen Passat 2.0TDI SE.
The Professional Driver Car of the Year Awards are judged by readers of Professional Driver magazine at an annual ride and drive event. The awards span six categories, covering the chauffeur and private hire market. The overall Car of the Year is chosen from the category winners.