As the first of the automotive industry’s awards ceremonies of the new calendar year, the coveted What Car? ‘Car of the Year’ Awards are always eagerly anticipated by the Torque team. At the 2018 event – marking the 40th anniversary of its first-ever staging – we were in attendance to see the Volvo XC40 scoop the overall Car of the Year category win.

Adding to the list of the Swedish brand’s plaudits, Volvo’s best-selling model ever, the XC60, was crowned with What Car?’s Safety Award.

SUV success

In a prominent evening for SUVs, the Jaguar I-PACE was another mid-size car to steal the stage. The all-electric performance SUV won the What Car? 2018 Reader Award, prospering from a shortlist of 12 rivals, to secure its title as the most anticipated car of 2018. Audi’s all-electric e-tron and Citroen’s C5 Aircross settled for Reader Award runner-up places.

Success for Jaguar Land Rover continued as the Land Rover Discovery 3.0 Td6 HSE Luxury was named ‘Best Luxury SUV for between £60,000 and £100,000’.

Focus on technology

As the automotive industry continually adapts to changes in the sector, with new EV powertrain and technological developments a constant factor, the innovative categories were a main focus at the 2018 What Car? Awards. The Hyundai IONIQ scooped Hybrid Car of the Year and the Nissan LEAF was named Electric Car of the Year – while the theme continued as Telsa won the Technology Award, What Car? commenting that ‘Tesla is a true innovator in the car industry’.

Category wins

Key category wins also came for Seat – its Ibiza named best Small Car – together with the Small SUV of the Year award presented for the Spanish brand’s Arona, while Audi won Coupe of the Year for the TT. The Alfa Romeo Giula Quadrifolgio is Sports Car of the Year, and Honda’s Civic Type R the Hot Hatch of the Year.

For key fuel savings, the Suzuki Ignis won the True MPG Award, beating the Mazda CX5 2.2 Skyactiv-D 150 2WD Sport Nav and Toyota Yaris Hybrid Design. Skoda swept up as Family Car of the Year, with the Octavia, and the Superb Estate was named best Estate.

 

This story was written by automotive PR specialists Torque Agency Group