6 Winners of the 2014 What Car? Awards

The 2014 What Car? Awards have recently been announced. Motor Heads has put together a round up of 6 of our favourite winners in this years awards.

#1 Used Mazda MX-5 Wins ‘Fun Car’ Category at What Car? Awards

  • Mazda MX-5 claims ‘Fun Car’ crown at 2014 What Car? Used Car of the Year awards
  • MX-5 sports car praised for its fantastically entertaining drive and exceptional handling
  • Remarkable reliability, great value and plentiful choice of good used MX-5s available
  • Iconic Mazda MX-5 has achieved more than 114,000 sales in the UK, so far
As the Mazda MX-5 celebrates its 25th year in production globally, a 2009 example of the iconic sports car was selected by judges as winner of the ‘Fun Car’ category at the 2014 What Car? Used Car of the Year awards held at the Hurlingham Club in London today (Tuesday 16 September).

The Fun Car category judging criteria this year included ‘performance and handling, and above all, the ability of the car to make the driver smile, when closing the deal on the forecourt, filling it at the pumps or powering down a challenging B-road’. The judging panel comprised three What Car? staff members and the Group Development Director of the event’s headline sponsor Warranty Direct, David Gerrans. Each judge road tested a 2009 Mazda MX-5 2.0-litre Sport, together with other short-listed hot hatches and roadsters, before making their decision.

Announcing the Mazda MX-5 as the ‘Fun Car’ award winner, What Car? editor Jim Holder commented: “Mazda’s MX-5 is quite simply fun-to-drive and its handling is exceptional. It offers great fun for very little money. It still delivers fantastic entertainment and there are lots of good examples on the used market. It has stood the test of time well and as prices come down, it’s great value and just seems to get better and better.”

Mazda has sold more than 114,000 rear-wheel drive MX-5 sports cars in the UK since the model made its debut in 1990. So good is the reliability and durability of the world’s best-selling two-seater sports car that Mazda estimates more than 96 per cent of those cars are still in regular use on Britain’s roads.

Accepting the 2014 Fun Car award on behalf of Mazda UK, Sales Director, Peter Allibon, said: “Fun-to-drive characteristics are at the very heart of our legendary and immensely popular Mazda MX-5 sports car. That popularity is just as strong today as it was more than two decades ago. The MX-5 is testimony to Mazda’s ability to defy convention and deliver uniquely appealing cars. I’m delighted to collect the Fun Car crown for MX-5 at the What Car? Used Car of the Year awards.”

The MK III Mazda MX-5 is also available as a new car with a choice of seven models in the 2014 line-up, priced from £18,495 to £23,695 on-the-road (OTR). Customers can choose from soft-top convertibles or power-retractable hard-tops, with 126ps 1.8-litre or 160ps 2.0-litre engines, on sale across the UK at 136 Mazda dealers nationwide.

Warranty Direct’s David Gerrans, observed: “Our most reliable car for the last 15 years since we’ve been running our Reliability Index has been the Mazda MX-5. This sports car continually demonstrates remarkable reliability and it’s easy to see why the MX-5 is hugely popular. It is without doubt this year’s worthy Fun Car winner.”

#2 i10 Is What Car? Best Used City Car 2014

  • Hyundai i10 wins Best City Car at What Car? Used Car Awards 2014
  • i10 is really practical and remarkably spacious” say What Car? magazine
Practical and remarkably spacious - that’s What Car? Magazine’s verdict after Hyundai i10 triumphed in the fiercely contested Best City Car category at the publication’s annual Used Car Awards on Tuesday.

Famed for its five doors and roomy interior, i10 was commended for its family friendly features and winning combination of comfort, performance and economy. Matthew Burrow, Consumer Reporter at What Car?, said: “The Hyundai i10 is different from most cars in the city car class in that it genuinely offers five seats and five doors.”

Alex Newby, Associate Editor at What Car?, added: “i10 is really practical and remarkably spacious for such a small car. Of course you still get the balance of Hyundai’s five-year unlimited-mile warranty, which is fantastic peace of mind when buying a used car.”

The independent judging panel selected by What Car? came from all corners of the car industry, with judges assessing vehicles against a rigorous criteria to choose their category winners.

Tony Whitehorn, President & CEO, Hyundai Motor UK, said: “i10 has always been a favourite among City Car buyers and this accolade reaffirms its enviable position as best in class. Of course it has been a big year for the New Generation i10, winning 5 major accolades so far this year, and this latest award shows that even the previous model still represents an attractive package for customers.”

Offering complete peace of mind, every Hyundai Approved Used car is prepared to the highest standards by Hyundai Approved technicians. If the 5-Year Unlimited Mileage warranty on the Approved Used car has expired, or has less than 12 months remaining, a minimum 12-month Hyundai Approved warranty is offered as standard as well as 12 months of roadside assistance.

#3 Citroen Grand C4 Picasso Named ‘Best MPV’ In What Car? Used Car of the Year Awards 2014

  •     First generation Citroën Grand C4 Picasso wins ‘Best MPV’ accolade in What Car? Used Car Awards
  •     What Car? judges recommended Grand C4 Picasso for its unbeatable value, practicality & versatility
  •     Grand C4 Picasso 1.6 HDi VTR+ chosen by What Car? as the one to go for
Following the successful launch of the New Citroën Grand C4 Picasso earlier this year, the first generation Grand C4 Picasso has been named ‘Best MPV’ by What Car? in their annual Used Car of the Year Awards.

The judging panel identified the Grand C4 Picasso as offering family buyers in the used MPV segment “unbeatable value for money”, with practical features and a wide range of equipment that provides “almost everything a family could want”.

The awards were judged by a mixed panel of industry experts and members of the What Car? team. The MPV category was hotly contested, but the Grand C4 Picasso prevailed thanks to its overall appeal to larger or growing families who need to keep the cost of motoring to a minimum.

The Grand C4 Picasso 1.6 HDi VTR+ was chosen by the What Car? judges as the one to go for, with an example purchase price of just £8,000 for a four year old vehicle. This specific model was recommended for its space, comfort, affordability and low running costs.

The Grand C4 Picasso was also praised for its maximum five-star Euro NCAP rating and the three full-size seats in the second row, which all come with individual Isofix anchor points for child safety seats.

Jim Holder, Editor at What Car?, explained; “The Grand C4 Picasso has always stood out for its versatility and ease of use, especially for families. Couple that with prices that become very competitive on the used market and you have a very compelling offering.”

James Parfett, Citroën UK’s Communications Director, commented; “We are very proud that Grand C4 Picasso continues to pick up an impressive variety of awards. This latest accolade from What Car? is further evidence that the multi-award winning Picasso range has earned its reputation as one of the leading choices in the family car market. With both the first and the latest generation Grand C4 Picassos still winning so many awards, this trend looks set to continue.”

#4 Volkswagen Scirocco Is What Car? Magazine’s Used Coupe of the Year

The Volkswagen Scirocco has been named ‘Best coupé’ in What Car? magazine’s Used Car of the Year awards.

The sporty yet practical coupé, which went on sale in 2008, is no stranger to awards, including What Car?’s own ‘Best Coupé under £25,000’ in 2010, and more recently coming fifth overall in the 2014 What Car?/JD Power customer satisfaction survey.

Commenting on the Scirocco’s win, What Car? Editor Jim Holder said: "The Scirocco offers great value for money in a very competitive package.  It’s good to look at, it’s good to drive and it really turns heads.  And now the prices have come down it’s more appealing than ever."

The winning Scirocco was the 2009 model-year 1.4-litre TSI 160 PS model.  A choice of engines is available, from a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol via a frugal yet feisty 2.0-litre turbodiesel to the riotous 265 PS Scirocco R, all with a choice of manual or DSG gearboxes.  A wide range of used Scirocco models can be found via Volkswagen’s own approved used scheme, Das Welt Auto.  See www.volkswagen.co.uk/used for details.

#5  Ford Focus Named Best Used Car By What Car?

For the second time in three years a Ford has claimed top honours at the What Car? Used Car Awards.

This year it is the Ford Focus which has been crowned the magazine’s Best Used Car of the Year, following in the wheel tracks of 2012 winner, the Ford Fiesta.

The Fiesta’s continued excellence was also recognised by What Car? – again judged Best Used Small Car to add to its victories in the supermini category in 2011 and 2012.

Ford Mondeo was confirmed as the Used Estate recommendation and, as part of its overall win, the Ford Focus is Best Used Family Car for the fourth time in eight years.

What Car? editor Jim Holder said: “The Ford Focus is our Used Car of the Year because of the choice offered to buyers. There are many Focus cars in numerous specifications and different ages to choose from. You can buy a current specification Focus within a reasonable budget and get a driver’s car – with great handling, bringing a lot of refinement and delivering great value for money.”

Ford’s four 2014 What Car? Used Awards maintain a remarkable run of success. The Blue Oval has taken at least one of the awards every year for the past seven.

Mark Ovenden, Ford of Britain chairman and managing director, said: “We thank What Car? for endorsing Ford’s great range with four of its Used Car Awards. Ford’s unique combination of style, value and remarkable technologies, typified by the EcoBoost engine, is as appealing to used car buyers as in the new car market, which is why Focus and Fiesta continue to delight so many customers across all sectors of the market.”

#6 Jaguar XJ Crowned Luxury Car King at What Car?

  • Jaguar XJ wins its class at What Car? Used Car Of The Year Awards
  • Judges praise its “wow factor” along with its performance and refinement
The Jaguar XJ is the best used car in the luxury car class, according to What Car?. It was awarded the coveted accolade at the magazine’s Used Car Of The Year Awards in London last night – where Jaguar Land Rover UK Managing Director Jeremy Hicks was on hand to personally accept the gong.

What Car? Editor Jim Holder said: “The Jaguar XJ stood above its opposition because it is the one car in its class that delivers a real wow factor in terms of looks and the way it drives. Owners can get a current-shape car for used car money, too, so there are no compromises required.”

The model in the range that most impressed the judging panel was the XJ Luxury 3.0 litre V6. What Car? Road Tester and Used Car Of The Year judge Rory White said: “It comes filled with kit, it looks fantastic, it offers good performance and great refinement, all of which are really important things.”

What Car? reader and XJ owner Jason Soraff was no less enthusiastic in his praise, commenting: “Before choosing the XJ I surveyed the usual suspects in this class, but the Jaguar stood out as being the driver’s car. It was so much better than its rivals and it’s amazingly fast for a big saloon.”

This is the latest in a string of awards that Jaguar’s saloon cars have picked up in 2014, with the XF winning accolades from Autocar, Honest John and the Telegraph earlier in the year. The Jaguar range is set to expand in 2015 with the addition of the recently-unveiled XE - and with its lightweight aluminium monocoque, range of all-new, efficient Ingenium engines, and advanced driver technologies, the awards are likely to keep rolling in for Jaguar’s saloon cars.

Speaking at the awards, Jeremy Hicks said: “I am absolutely delighted to accept this Used Car Award for the XJ. It’s great to see the judges admiration for its performance, refinement and wow factor, because these are the three qualities we strive to ensure that every Jaguar possesses. We want every car we make to be the best to drive, the best to live with, and to have that extra bit of flair that separates our cars from the competition. It’s what has made our current range so popular with critics and buyers alike – and what will make the forthcoming XE the most successful Jaguar to date.”

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