What Car? Car of the Year Awards

The Volkswagen Up has been named What Car?’s Car of the Year at the 35th annual What Car? Awards, held last night at a ceremony on London’s Park Lane. The Up was also awarded City Car of the Year.

Volkswagen also picked up two further awards. It claimed top prize in the small family car category for the Volkswagen Golf for the fourth consecutive year, and won the Safety Award for its City Emergency Braking System on the Up.

Volkswagen Up triumphs at 2012 What Car? Awards

What Car? editor-in-chief Chas Hallett said: ‘The Volkswagen Up is the best car we’ve seen this year because it combines refinement, quality, space and economy. It sets new standards for the £10,000 price bracket. It feels at home in town and copes admirably on the motorway; it is the right car for the time.

‘German brands have done exceptionally well in the What Car? Awards this year, taking 10 out of the 16 category wins as well as the overall prize.’

Dr Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Brand with responsibility for Development, collected the award and commented: ‘We are very grateful for this award which recognises the achievements and qualities of our new small car, the Up. We set out to design a car which would combine Volkswagen values and maximum space in a distilled and compact package; a car which embodies the pure essence of the brand.

‘From its modern, clean and efficient engines, through its class-leading safety features to its innovative infotainment system, it is a design which encapsulates modern urban mobility.

‘Furthermore, the Up is not a standalone product, but the first child in a new small car family. Groundbreaking Volkswagen models including a fully electric version, the Up Blue-e-Motion which is due in 2013, will also join the family, and other Volkswagen Group brands will also benefit from its arrival. We are very excited about our new car and are delighted that the influential judges at What Car? magazine clearly share our views on the Up.’

What Car? readers and website visitors voted in their thousands to name the most exciting car for 2012, and the winner was the Jaguar C-X16. The production Jaguar C-X16 will be unveiled at the Geneva motor show in March and will be on sale by the end of the year with an expected price of £50,000.

Audi picked up three awards; last year’s overall winner, the A1, was named best supermini, while the TT took the coupé title and the TT Roadster the open-top award.

The Ford Mondeo was awarded two accolades – best family car and best estate car – with judges praising how it makes life easier, costs little to run and is great to drive.

Performance Car of the Year went to Porsche for the 911 Carrera S PDK, while the MPV award was won by the Seat Alhambra, which seats seven adults in comfort and has a five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating.

For the third year running, the Renault Mégane Renaultsport was awarded Hot Hatch of the Year, with What Car? saying that it provides more attitude and exhilaration than any other hot hatch today.

Two awards were given to BMW; the company’s X3 took the SUV award and the stunning new 3 Series easily picked up the executive car crown.

The Mercedes-Benz S-Class retained its crown as best luxury car, with 2012 marking the seventh time the car has earned the What Car? accolade.

Kia was presented with the Ultra-Low-Carbon Award for the way it has made incredible reductions in CO2 outputs of its vehicles without resorting to expensive hybrid technology.

MG won the Security Award. Its new MG6 is fitted with the industry’s highest-rated alarm and immobiliser system, complete with perimeter detection alongside first-press double locking and vehicle identification that is enhanced with markings.