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Revealed: Auto Trader’s best new cars of 2019

The Peugeot 3008 has been named New Car of the Year at the Auto Trader New Car Awards. Rather than relying on a judging panel, Auto Trader interviewed 63,000 car owners and asked them to rate their cars across 16 different criteria. Although the 3008 is the nation’s favourite, there are another 18 awards for you to enjoy. Brace yourself, we’re going in…

Most Fun Car to Drive – Mini Hatch

Presumably because the Auto Trader respondents have never taken a new Vauxhall Corsa to a McDonald’s car park and stuck a pair of trays under the back wheels, the Mini Hatch gets the award for the Most Fun Car to Drive. #gokarthandling

Best Car for New Drivers – Volkswagen Golf

Back in the day, a new driver would be happy with a barely legal Ford Fiesta and a Goodmans stereo. But times change, which is why the Volkswagen Golf is named the Best Car for New Drivers.

Best Car for City Drivers – Toyota C-HR

Erin Baker, Auto Trader editorial director, said: “The Toyota C-HR ranked top for its reliability among city drivers, and owners highlighted one of the most important considerations when shopping for a city car – how easy it is to park.” A reversing camera is standard across the range.

Best Car for Families – Seat Ateca

Seat is fortunate that Volvo no longer builds the 240 GLT wagon, because the big Swede – with a roof rack and a tin of travel sweets in the glovebox – is the Best Car for Families. As it is, the Ateca takes the award.

Best Car for Dog Owners – Mazda CX-5

Thanks to its cabin space, safety, how good it is to drive, the availability of a dog guard and the option of a boot mat and bumper protector, the Mazda CX-5 is named the Best Car for Dog Owners. Which is all well and good, but did anybody ask the dogs?

Best Car for Long Distances – Volvo XC60

For us, the Best Car for Long Distances is a chauffeur-driven limo with a fully-stacked fridge and a seat massaging function. We must be in the minority, because the Volvo XC60 grabs the laurels. Erin Baker praised its “very nice interior”.

Best Car Launched in the Last Year – Honda CR-V

Having won this award, Honda UK tweeted: “We are over the moon to have come away with ‘Best Car Launched in the Last Year’ for the incredible #CRV”. The CR-V is Honda’s first advanced hybrid SUV in Europe.

Best Seven-Seater – Skoda Kodiaq

Speaking about the Skoda SUV, Auto Trader’s Erin Baker said: “The Kodiaq ranked highly for ease of making use of all its space and how nice it is to drive.” Which is nice. Nice.

Best Car for Towing: Kia Sportage

Fresh from winning Crossover of the Year at the Honest John Awards, the Kia Sportage has been named Best Car for Towing by Auto Trader. Handy, if you’re lining up a tug-of-war contest against a local Mercedes Unimog.

Best Pick-up – Toyota Hilux

Erin Baker said: “Hilux scored highest for power and durability – crucial for pick-up drivers.” Baker also praised the Toyota’s reliability, styling and off-road capabilities. Mind you, when you offer a trim level called ‘Invincible’, there can be only one winner.

Best Value New Car – Dacia Duster

You can buy a new Dacia Duster for as little as £9,995, so it certainly has price on its side. But there’s more to good value than a low price. Ivan Aistrop, Auto Trader road test editor, said: “No other car company can offer you such a large amount of metal for such an aggressive price.”

Best Green Car – Tesla Model S

No, the Best Green Car isn’t a Porsche 911 GT3 RS in Lizard Green. Instead, the Tesla Model S takes the plaudits. Even with a growing number of electric cars hitting the market, the Model S still manages to capture the public’s imagination like no other EV.

Most Recommended Car – Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Auto Trader added six new categories this year, including ‘Most Recommended Car’. Ian Plummer, Auto Trader director, said: “Revealingly, this year’s results mirror what we’re seeing elsewhere on our marketplace: the growing appetite for SUVs and crossovers.” While this might be the case, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class is the most recommended car.

Most Loved Car – Mazda MX-5 RF

Here’s another new category for 2019, with the Mazda MX-5 RF named Most Loved Car at the Auto Trader New Car Awards. We wonder if more new awards will be added in 2020. May we suggest ‘Best Car for Goats’, ‘Best Cupholders’ and ‘Infotainment Screen Least Likely to Make You Yearn for Analogue Buttons and Switches’.

Most Reliable Car Brand – Lexus

Lexus is named the Most Reliable Car Brand for the second year running, with Erin Baker saying: “It comes as no surprise that Lexus has been voted as the most reliable car brand.” Just think of all the money Lexus owners save on AA membership.

Car Brand with the Best Features – Jaguar

“Jaguar is the car brand with the features,” said Erin Baker. The company was praised for its connectivity, rear-seat TVs, Meridian audio systems, enhanced security and advanced safety systems. Remember when styling, comfort and performance were Jaguar’s best features?

Best Value Car Brand – Dacia

With many brands pushing further upmarket, Dacia is free to dominate the value end of the market. Offering a range with the cheapest hatchback, estate car and SUV is a good place to start, which is why it is named Best Value Car Brand.

Most Loved Car Brand – Tesla

We finish with Tesla, which is the Most Loved Car Brand. Ian Plummer said: “This is our third annual New Car Awards and 2019 marks a significant leap forward in terms of its scale. Rather than relying on an expert judging panel our winners are determined by the real-world insight from over 63,000 car owners, making them the most accurate industry measure of which brands and models are meeting the genuine needs of today’s car buyers. A huge congratulations are in order for all of this year’s very worthy winners.”

Auto Express New Car Awards 2016

Auto Express New Car Awards 2016: the cars of the year revealed

Auto Express New Car Awards 2016The 2016 Auto Express New Car Awards winners have been revealed, with 21 prizes handed out to cars spanning the full breadth of the UK market.

Here we reveal all the 2016 winners and comment on just why Auto Express reckons they’re the best models in that sector for car buyers.

City Car of the Year 2016: Skoda Citigo

A surprising start, perhaps, as the Skoda Citigo has been around largely unchanged since 2011. Auto Express explains, “it’s the compact dimensions that give the Skoda impressive manoeuvrability in tight spots, but a spacious interior that delivers a big car feel inside.”

The Hyundai i10 and Vauxhall Viva were highly commended.

Supermini of the Year 2016: Volkswagen PoloAuto Express New Car Awards 2016

Another surprise, as the Volkswagen Polo is even older than the Skoda Citigo, with the latest model launched in 2009. A facelift last year boosted the Polo’s charm, says Auto Express, while the magazine would recommend the turbocharged three-cylinder petrol BlueMotion engine.

Judges commended the Skoda Fabia and Suzuki Baleno.

Premium Small Car of the Year 2016: MINI Cooper

Who doesn’t like a MINI? Auto Express explains, “it doesn’t matter whether you pick the entry-level 1.2-litre three-cylinder or feisty 228bhp John Cooper Works model, every MINI is infused with the same eager personality that encourages you to drive just for the hell of it.”

The Fiat 500 and DS3 were commended.

Compact Family Car of the Year 2016: Vauxhall AstraAuto Express New Car Awards 2016

In a sector consisting of the Ford Focus, Volkswagen Golf and SEAT Leon, the Vauxhall Astra has always lagged behind the competition. But the latest model has been a revelation, bagging the 2016 European Car of the Year crown.

Runners-up included the SEAT Leon and MINI Clubman.

Family Car of the Year 2016: Skoda Superb

The latest Superb’s crisp styling and upmarket cabin elevated it above rivals to bag the title of Auto Express’s Family Car of the Year 2016.

It beat competition from the Mazda 6 and Toyota Prius, which were commended.

Estate Car of the Year 2016: Skoda Superb EstateAuto Express New Car Awards 2016

As if winning Family Car of the Year wasn’t enough, the Skoda Superb also bagged the estate car award. Based on the same MQB underpinnings as the Volkswagen Passat, the Superb boasts a bigger boot and lower list price than its slightly-more-upmarket cousin.

Judges also praised the Peugeot 308 SW and SEAT Leon ST.

MPV of the Year 2016: Citroen Grand C4 Picasso

For the third year in a row, the Citroen Grand C4 Picasso has scooped the MPV prize at the Auto Express awards. Judges praised its versatile cabin and impressive in-car tech, putting it ahead of the Ford S-Max and SEAT Alhambra runner-ups.

Crossover of the Year 2016: SEAT AtecaAuto Express New Car Awards 2016

The crossover market is showing no signs of slowing down, with Auto Express claiming this is “arguably one of the most fiercely fought New Car Awards categories.” SEAT’s entry to the sector has been long-awaited, but the judges were impressed with the way the Ateca drives – “like a jacked-up Leon.”

Commended were the Citroen C4 Cactus and Renault Kadjar.

Compact SUV of the Year 2016: Jaguar F-Pace

If we’d have put money on a car picking up a gong at the Auto Express awards, it would have been the incredibly impressive Jaguar F-Pace. Auto Express gave the F-Pace the compact SUV gong, praising its comfort, usability, effortless performance and great value for money.

JLR’s own Land Rover Discovery Sport took second place, while the Mercedes-Benz GLC was also commended.

Large SUV of the Year 2016: Volvo XC90Auto Express New Car Awards 2016

Beating the impressive new Audi Q7 and Kia Sorento to the Large SUV of the Year title, the Volvo XC90 actually won the overall Auto Express Car of the Year award in 2015. Although the ‘twin-engined’ T8 hybrid model is the headline-grabber, judges would recommend the four-cylinder D5 diesel for “a surprising mix of refinement and punch.”

Pick-Up Truck of the Year 2016: Mitsubishi L200

With fresh competition from the new Nissan Navara and facelifted Ford Ranger, the Mitsubishi L200 has done well to cling onto its title of Pick-Up Truck of the Year at the Auto Express awards. “Its robust underpinnings will take just about anything you can throw at a working vehicle,” explains Auto Express. “But the Mitsubishi is more car-like to drive than its rivals, with superior refinement helping improve comfort.”

Hot Hatch of the Year 2016: Ford Focus RSAuto Express New Car Awards 2016

In truth, anything else taking home this award would have caused outrage. The £31,000 Ford Focus RS is a performance bargain, with its 2.3-litre four-cylinder turbo engine thrusting the Focus to 62mph in 4.7 seconds.

Convertible of the Year 2016: MINI Convertible

Fancy a convertible for the summer? While the soft-top LaFerrari, revealed yesterday, is a tempting proposition, the MINI Convertible is probably more realistic for most of us. It fought off competition from the Audi A3 and (surprisingly) the Ford Mustang, with judges praising its 1.5-litre turbo engine.

Coupe of the Year 2016: Audi TTAuto Express New Car Awards 2016

The latest Audi TT is a really polished all-rounder, so it’s good to see it beating the Porsche 911 and Ford Mustang to the title of Coupe of the Year. Judges commented: “It’s often said that fashion fades and style is eternal – and no car sums up this sentiment better than the Audi TT. Over a year after making its debut, the eye-catching coupe still has what it takes to shade any new model around.”

Roadster of the Year 2016: Mazda MX-5

There doesn’t seem to be a single person who’s driven the new Mazda MX-5 and not fallen for its charms. We particularly like BBR’s tuned version, although Auto Express judges advise buyers opt for the less powerful 1.5-litre model.

The Jaguar F-Type and Porsche 718 Boxster were commended – showing just how good the Mazda MX-5 actually is.

Performance Car of the Year 2016: McLaren 570SAuto Express New Car Awards 2016

With a shortlist that included the BMW M2 and Ferrari 488 GTB, the Brit-built McLaren 570S has done well to bag the (well-deserved) Performance Car of the Year title. Judges described the entry-level McLaren as ‘simply incredible’.

Compact Executive Car of the Year 2016: Jaguar XE

We’re big fans of the new Audi A4 at MR, so it’s a surprise to see it not even get a mention in the Compact Executive category. Instead, the Lexus IS and BMW 3 Series were commended, while the baby Jaguar took top choice.

Executive Car of the Year 2016: Mercedes-Benz E-ClassAuto Express New Car Awards 2016

It might look like a smaller S-Class, but it’s a strategy that’s worked well for Mercedes-Benz at the Auto Express awards. Judges praised its premium interior and impressive technology, highlighting the E 220d SE as a particular gem. It beat the Jaguar XF and Tesla Model S, which were both commended.

Luxury Car of the Year 2016: Mercedes-Benz S-Class

Talking of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, it beat the Bentley Mulsanne and Range Rover to the title of Luxury Car of the Year. It’s the third year in a row the S-Class has bagged the award.

Van of the Year 2016: Volkswagen TransporterAuto Express New Car Awards 2016

Vans are getting increasingly impressive, and the sixth-generation Volkswagen Transporter “is a big step forward in every respect,” says Auto Express. The Ford Transit and smaller Volkswagen Caddy were commended.

Green Car of the Year 2016: Toyota Prius

The pioneering Toyota Prius is now in its fourth generation, and behind those divisive looks is a genuinely impressive eco-car. With floor-mounted batteries lowering its centre of gravity, judges described the Prius as ‘surprisingly entertaining’.

The BMW i3 and new Kia Niro were both commended.

Driver Power Award: Tesla Model SAuto Express New Car Awards 2016

Driver Power is Auto Express magazine’s survey of owners to discover which are the best cars to live with day-to-day. The Tesla Model S made its debut in the survey this year, and scored a ‘quite remarkable’ satisfaction rating of 98%. The Tesla dominated seven of the 10 judging categories, with owners voting it best for running costs, performance, road handling, ride quality, ease of driving, practicality and in-car tech. In the remaining three categories, it finished fifth for seat comfort and reliability, with only build quality letting it down slightly.

Auto Express Car of the Year 2016: Jaguar F-PaceAuto Express New Car Awards 2016

And so onto the overall Auto Express Car of the Year 2016: it has to be one of the category winners and, of them all, there is one obvious choice – the Jaguar F-Pace.

Jaguar’s fastest-selling model ever is a real triumph for the brand and genuinely is one of the very best compact SUVs you can buy. You won’t be disappointed by it and the only frustration with the F-Pace may be just how long you have to wait to get into one. Yes, it has a waiting list that reflects its desirability…