What Car? cars of the year announced

The Audi A3 Sportback has been named What Car? car of the year with judges saying the vehicle set “a new benchmark”.

The Audi A3 Sportback has been named What Car? car of the year with judges saying the vehicle set “a new benchmark”.

By Press Association reporters

Also named best small family car, the A3 Sportback’s victory was announced at a ceremony in London recently.

What Car? editor-in-chief Chas Hallett said: “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.”

Ford collected four awards. The Fiesta won the supermini category, the Mondeo was named the best family car, the Mondeo Estate was the top estate car, and the Ford Focus ST-1 was best hot hatch.

Three trophies went to the BMW Group. The BMW X3 took the SUV (sports utility vehicle) award, while the BMW 320d ED automatic picked up the executive car crown and the Mini Roadster Cooper S was named best open-top car.

Suzuki’s Swift Sport retained its ‘best buy’ status in the awards’ hot hatch category. Its price has risen with inflation for 2013, but its talents, combined with the significant saving compared to more powerful hatches, secured the award.

Sports car of the year went to the Porsche Boxster 2.7, while the MPV (multi-purpose vehicle) award was won for the third year running by the Seat Alhambra. The Audi TT continued its run of success by being named best coupe for the seventh time.

The British-built Range Rover was crowned luxury car of the year and the Volkswagen Up retained its best city car title.

Mazda was awarded the ultra-low-carbon award while the What Car? readers and website visitors voted the Alfa Romeo 4C as most exciting car for 2013.