Many years ago, back in the Twentieth Century, car enthusiasts would flock to the Earls Court Motor Show to see all the brilliant new cars on offer or coming soon. That was about the extent of promotion from car makers except perhaps road tests from a few selected motoring journalists.
Today, motor shows abound across the planet. It sometimes seems like every major city of the world has a motor show of some description as manufacturers sell into what is now a global market. We have World Cars and sub-divisions for sports cars or city motors but in the UK it is to our motoring press that we turn when need arises.
Virtually every online or paper motoring magazine now has its own idea for car awards. There is usually one for every sector and type but, at the end of it all, each will select a Car Of The Year. Often the same model features, although this magazine might prefer another model to that journal. Ultimately it is the big names that most people sit up and take notice of and one of Great Britain’s leading titles usually makes the best choice.
Here then are all the cars that have been awarded the top COTY accolade and anyone buying any of these fine vehicles is unlikely to be disappointed:
2011: Audi A1 1.4 TFSI Sport
Introduced to rival the established players in the supermini sector, the Audi A1 is all about classy sophistication. There’s the usual soft-touch materials around the cabin in the usual premium Audi style along with some excellent technology on offer too. It just feels expensive. With a Sportback version and the new ‘Citycarver’ model, designed to introduce a bit of crossover influence, the A1 is a great urban vehicle that can still hold its own on the motorway.
2012: Volkswagen Up 1.0 75 High Up!
The exclamation mark is important because it highlights just how good this diminutive city car really is. The Volkswagen Up sits at the base of the German manufacturer’s range and is its smallest and cheapest car with trim levels offering a play on the name. Great for those who need a city runaround that’s easy to park, the Up makes a great first-timer’s car especially when value for money is important.
2013: Audi A3 Sportback 1.4 TFSI 122 SE
Yet another Audi and this time it is the A3, a premium family hatchback that is available as a Sportback, a saloon and as a cabriolet. There’s a huge choice of engines with petrol, diesel, plug-in hybrid and high-performance models available all wrapped up in the usual premium Audi package. Something for everyone.
2014: Nissan Qashqai 1.5 dCi Acenta 2WD
The Nissan Qashqai compact SUV hit the ground running when it was first launched and has remained a perennial favourite with buyers ever since thanks to a high driving position and sharp exterior styling. The interior is roomy and comfortable and comes well equipped with a good choice of options.
2015: Skoda Fabia 1.2 TSI 90 SE
Another contender in the supermini stakes the Skoda Fabia has been around for a while but it is still an impressive choice. This model is one of the larger superminis available and is well equipped. Good to drive, the Fabia shares much of its technology with the VW Polo and is arguably more stylish.