Thursday, 24 January 2013

What Car? of the Year Awards 2013. Car of the year Audi A3 Sportback. Winners. SMMT 2012 results. Diesel and alternative fuel cars. Nissan, Jaguar Land Rover and BMW have record sales. Ford Fiesta is still the most popular car in the UK.

The beginning of a new year always brings out lists of winners for all sorts of things in the previous year, but What Car? Is ahead of the game, and names their best cars for the current year. Cars are rigorously tested and the awards bring prestige and brisk business to the winners.

Despite the economic climate, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) announced that 2012 was the best year since 2008, with more than 2 million vehicles sold in the UK. Customers wanted fuel-efficient cars and they got them. Demand from the private sector was better than the market for company cars, which slumped. Sales of diesel cars and alternative fuel cars rose. Nissan, Jaguar Land Rover and BMW cars had a record year. The Ford Fiesta is still the most popular car in the UK. Advanced infotainment systems, heated seats and other refinements all make driving in these best cars even better.

2013 The overall winner of the What Car? Car of the Year was the Audi A3 Sportback.

Small Family Cars     Audi A3 Sportback   £19,825

Key facts
0-60mph          9.3sec
Top speed       126mph
Fuel economy 53.3mpg
CO2 emissions           123g/km
Tax liability      15%
Insurance group          16                   

The Audi A3 Sportback was named 2013 What Car? Car of the Year in addition to winning the Small Family Cars category. Editor-in-chief of What Car? Chas Hallett stated: 'The Audi A3 Sportback mixes excellent refinement and an accomplished driving experience with easily the finest cabin quality ever seen in a small family hatchback. It sets a new benchmark and it is keenly priced, a combination that makes it a worthy Car of the Year.'

Best Superminis                   Ford Fiesta                            £14,245

Reliable Ford also won three more categories with the Mondeo, the Mondeo Estate, and the Ford Focus ST.

City cars                                 Volkswagen Up                     £10,515
4x4s and SUVs          BMW X3 xDrive20d SE automatic  £33,010

SUV stands for Sport Utility Vehicle 

MPVs                          Seat Alhambra                      £25,035

The Seat Alhambra won the MPV (Multi-Purpose Vehicle) award for the third year running.

Estate cars                 Ford Mondeo Estate             £22,445
Luxury cars               Range Rover             £77,895
Sports cars        Porsche Boxter            £37,589
Executive cars           BMW 3 Series 320 ED automatic                £29,605

ED (Efficient Dynamics) The BMW Group also won two more categories for the BMW X3 and the Mini Roadster Cooper S.
Coupes                       Audi TT                                  £27,145

The Audi TT was named best coupe for the seventh time.
Family cars                Ford Mondeo             £20,195
Hot hatches               Ford Focus                £21,995
These cars appeal to young drivers.
 Open-top cars           BMW Mini Roadster             £20,905

Ultra-low-carbon cars          Mazda CX5 Crossover Skyactiv   £21,395

“Green SUV of the Year, and the latest version of the 6 uses the same principles to deliver CO2 emissions as low as 104g/km. That's a remarkable figure, and shows how a radical rethink can deliver real gains without resorting to more expensive hybrid and fully electric configurations”.
"The crossover term was used as a market segment description and one of the reasons Chrysler purchased American Motors Corporation (AMC) in 1987. The automaker acquired the famous Jeep brand and vehicles from AMC to add to its successful minivans, giving Chrysler a "solid position in the so-called 'crossover' market, which is somewhere 'between' cars and trucks and the fastest growing segment in the entire industry."

SKYACTIV is a series of technologies developed by Mazda which increase fuel efficiency and engine output. The initial announcement of the SKYACTIV technologies include new engines, transmissions, body, chassis, which would appear in Mazda products from 2011. 
Reader award                        Alfa Romeo 4C          £40,000?

This concept car was first shown at the 2011 Geneva motor show, but  has yet to arrive in the UK.

“Thanks to a mix of construction materials, including carbon fibre and aluminium, the two-seater 4C will weigh around 900kg. This low weight, coupled with a turbocharged 1.8-litre petrol engine generating around 230bhp should give it performance to match its looks. A 0-62mph time of less than five seconds is likely.

Alfa has previously said that it’s aiming for a price of around £40,000, but this could creep up by the time the car goes on sale. A convertible 4C could arrive in 2014”.

The What Car? Car of the Year Awards, in association with Warranty Direct were held recently on January 9, 2013 in the Great Room at Grosvenor House, Park Lane, London W1. It is possible to be there in future, you just have to book a table or an individual place, but the event this year, drinks at the reception and presumably rather a good dinner cost £318, but it all costs less if you go in a group.