The What Car? Car of the Year Awards, in association with Warranty Direct, is one of the biggest events in the UK motoring calendar. Hosted at Grosvenor House, this was the 42nd time the annual awards ceremony took place in central London on January 22nd, 2019.
What Car? is the UK’s key car-buying brand and has been helping Britain’s car buyers make purchasing decisions for over 40 years. Only the cars setting the standards for their respective class are nominated for each category.
Prior to the awards, 61 new models were in contention for the top award of the evening; the What Car? Car of the Year. The Kia e-Niro was crowned the winner of this, which was a massive achievement as not only was it the first time Kia took home the main accolade, but it was also the first time an electric car has won the What Car? Car of the Year Award.
The event was particularly exciting this year as What Car? also introduced three new awards categories: Best plug-in hybrid, Sports SUV and Pick-up. Of course, traditional categories still achieved much recognition and included winners for; Best small car, Family SUV, Convertible and Estate car, to name but a few.
In addition to being the headline sponsor, Warranty Direct also sponsored the individual Hot hatch award category, revealing the best new hot hatch currently on the market.
When considering the short list for what makes a great hot hatch, the judges had strict criteria, considering a number of key features including:
- Ease of use – most of these vehicles are based on existing family hatchbacks, so should be practical enough to use every day
- A keen list price with low running costs
- The low prices could not entail poorly finished cabins or mean skimping on vehicle equipment lists
- Performance and driving fun
Contenders for the Warranty Direct sponsored Hot hatch award were the Ford Fiesta ST, Honda Civic Type R and the Hyundai i30 N. The overall winner of this category was announced as the Honda Civic Type R 2.0 VTEC Turbo GT.
Simon Ackers, CEO at Warranty Direct commented on the awards:
“It is a privilege Warranty Direct once again returned as headline sponsors, especially as the What Car? Car of the Year Awards is one of the most highly anticipated events in the motoring calendar.
“The What Car? Awards recognise the fantastic achievements of individual car manufacturers and produce expert advice, essential for consumers considering their next motoring purchase.
“We are proud to have supported this year’s results and are extremely happy Honda won our sponsored category against some stiff competition!”
One thing’s for sure, we are incredibly proud to reprise the title sponsorship of the What Car? Car of the Year Awards for the seventh year running.
Not only do the awards provide great insight into what motorists can expect to see leading the way in 2019 but they also demonstrate the industry’s ability to revive and improve their products every year.
Warranty Direct’s Reliability Index also provides motorists with a ‘real world’ picture of car ownership, for those considering next vehicle purchase. The index collates and analyses 50,000 live Warranty Direct policies to rate vehicles in order of reliability.
As well as finding out the overall reliability of a car, it offers information on which parts fail most often such as air conditioning, axle & suspension, braking, cooling, electrical components and engines.