● What Car? crowns Kia e-Niro 2019 Car of the Year
● Victory for the Kia e-Niro marks the first time an electric car has taken home the prestigious award
● Kia celebrates its first What Car? Car of the Year win
● Hyundai joins Kia among manufacturers recognised for its development of electric vehicle technology
● Honda Urban EV takes home Reader Award voted for by public
● Full list of winners live at whatcar.com/awards
● Find the latest deals on winners from all categories at What Car? New Car Buying
What Car? has named the Kia e-Niro electric vehicle (EV) as its 2019 Car of the Year during its 42nd annual awards ceremony, held in association with Warranty Direct and BNP Paribas Cardif on Tuesday 22 January at Grosvenor House, Park Lane.
The Kia e-Niro beat 23 other category winners to take the overall title, becoming the first electric car to win the prestigious What Car? Car of the Year Award.
Victory for the e-Niro, which has a Real Range of 253 miles, also represents the first time Kia has taken the top prize at the ceremony.
The success for an electric car comes at the beginning of a big year for the EV market, with several major manufacturers, including Audi, Honda and Mercedes-Benz, all planning to launch new electric models in 2019.
What Car? editor Steve Huntingford said: “The demand for electric cars has grown exponentially in recent years, and 2019 is shaping up to be the biggest year yet.
“Most of the leading manufacturers have plans for new EVs, and the fact that the Kia e-Niro was able to beat all its petrol and diesel rivals to win the 2019 What Car? Car of the Year Award shows how far this technology has developed.
“The e-Niro stood out because it addresses the key issues of cost and range that have traditionally prevented many motorists from taking the plunge into EV ownership. Here is a spacious and practical family SUV that demands very few compromises.”
As well as taking home the main accolade at the 2019 What Car? Car of the Year Awards, the Kia e-Niro was named Electric Car of the Year.
Hyundai joined Kia in being recognised for its work with alternative fuels, being named winner of the Technology Award for its progress with electric and fuel cell technology.
The 2019 What Car? Awards saw the introduction of three new categories, recognising the best models in the Plug-in Hybrid, Sports SUV and Pick-up markets. These awards were won by the Volvo XC90 T8, Cupra Ateca and Volkswagen Amarok respectively.
Last year’s overall winner, the Volvo XC40, returned to be named Family SUV of the Year for a second year running, while the Skoda Octavia continued its run of success in the Family car category, and the Peugeot 5008 reclaimed the crown for the best Large SUV.
Reflecting the diverse range of cars available, the Performance and Sports Car category was split for 2019, broadening the range of eligible vehicles. The new Sports Car Award went to the Alpine A110, while the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio was named Performance Car of the Year.
Kia is the 20th car manufacturer to win an overall What Car? Car of the Year Award since its inception in 1978.
Paul Philpott, president and CEO of Kia Motors UK, said: “Everyone at Kia Motors (UK) Limited and Kia Motors Corporation is honoured and delighted that the e-Niro is the first Korean car to win the What Car? Car of the Year Award.
“This marks an important milestone in the Awards as we approach the tipping point where every motorist will be seriously considering buying an electric car as their next car.
“The market for all kinds of electrified cars is growing dramatically and What Car? recognising the e-Niro shows that the pure EV is now entering the mainstream. The future is definitely electric and with this decision What Car? is pushing even harder on an opening door.”
Aside from its overall Car of the Year success, Kia proved victorious in the City Car category, with the Kia Picanto taking the prize for the second year running.
Warranty Direct was headline sponsor at the Awards for the seventh year in a row, joined by BNP Paribas Cardif.
Simon Ackers, CEO of Warranty Direct, commented: “It is a privilege for Warranty Direct to once again return as headline sponsors. The What Car? Car of the Year Awards are one of the most highly anticipated events in the motoring calendar.
“Each year the experts at What Car? provide a great insight into what motorists can expect to see leading the way in the industry in the coming year and identifying which models drivers should be considering.”
In addition to the winners chosen by the What Car?’s experts, What Car? readers were once again given the chance to have their say on the car they are most looking forward to seeing launched in 2019, with the Honda Urban EV coming out on top.
For more information on the overall 2019 What Car? Car of the Year and the full list of award winners, visit: www.whatcar.com/awards
Notes to editors:
WHAT CAR? CAR OF THE YEAR AWARDS 2019 WINNERS LIST
Under strict embargo until 23:00 on Tuesday 22 January 2018
WINNER - Kia Picanto
WINNER - Volkswagen Polo
WINNER - Skoda Octavia
SMALL SUV - SPONSORED BY CAP HPI
WINNER - Seat Arona
FAMILY SUV - SPONSORED BY NOCO
WINNER - Volvo XC40
WINNER - Peugeot 5008
WINNER - Audi Q7
WINNER - Citroën Berlingo
WINNER - Skoda Superb Estate
HOT HATCH - SPONSORED BY WARRANTY DIRECT AND BNP PARIBAS CARDIF
WINNER - Honda Civic Type R
WINNER - Mercedes Benz S-Class Cabriolet
WINNER - Audi A5 Coupe
WINNER - Alpine A110
WINNER - Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio
WINNER – Cupra Ateca
WINNER - Kia e-Niro
WINNER - Hyundai Ioniq
PLUG IN HYBRID
WINNER - Volvo XC90 T8
WINNER - BMW 3 Series
WINNER - Volkswagen Amarok
WINNER - BMW 5 Series
READER AWARD - SPONSORED BY ALA GAP INSURANCE
WINNER - Honda Urban EV
SAFETY AWARD - SPONSORED BY THATCHAM RESEARCH
WINNER - Mercedes-Benz A-Class
WINNER - Hyundai
CAR OF THE YEAR
WINNER - Kia e-Niro
About What Car?
What Car?, the UK’s biggest car buying brand, has the magazine, a market-leading website and several established brand extensions. It has helped Britain’s car buyers to make purchasing decisions for more than 40 years and its tests are widely regarded as the most trusted source of new car advice.
Whatcar.com is the UK’s leading car buying website, offering trusted reviews and data on every new car. A winner of numerous awards and accolades, whatcar.com is recognised as one of the UK’s leading consumer websites and attracts 2.1 million unique visits every month, including 700,000 unique visits on whatcar.com mobile. The website also offers advice on new car deals, used cars for sale and car leasing.
With a print and digital circulation of 61,062, combined with its mobile and social reach, What Car? has more than 5.5 million monthly points of contact with its audience on the move, at work, at home and at the crucial point of sale.
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● What Car? crowns Kia e-Niro 2019 Car of the Year