Category Winners Revealed For UK Car Of The Year Awards 2022< Back to blog
It’s back: the UK Car of the Year Awards 2022.
Each year, motoring journalists pick out their 10 best new cars from the following categories:
- Best City Car
- Best Supermini
- Best Small Hatch
- Best Family Car
- Best Estate
- Best Small Crossover
- Best Medium Crossover
- Best Large Crossover
- Best Luxury Car
- Best Performance Car
Behold, your winners…!
Best City Car: Fiat 500 Electric
At a time where city cars are (more or less) all transforming into electric cars, there’s one model in particular that’s stood out from the crowd.
That’s right, it’s the Fiat 500 Electric.
There’s not an awful loto dislike about the electrified Fiat 500, other than perhaps the entry-level 24kWh battery pack, which is only good for a real range of around 85 miles, despite what official WLTP figures may tell you.
However, the good news is that it’s available with a chunkier 42kWh battery, which ramps up the range between charges to around a 145 miles. This is much healthier and means that you aren’t limited to just short-distance trips throughout the week for fear of your car suddenly dying on you and leaving you to call for roadside assistance.
Of course, there’s more to consider than just range when you’re looking at buying an electric car. Luckily, a considerable range isn’t the only trick up the Fiat 500 Electric’s sleeve.
Charging is also very good, and very cheap. If you get a standard 7kW home charger installed at home, you can fully charge the Fiat 500 Electric from empty in just six hours. There’s even a rapid charge function on the vehicle that allows you to quickly charge it from 20%-80% in just 20 minutes at a 150kW chargepoint, which can be found at most motorway service stations.
Best Supermini: Skoda Fabia
Small cars very rarily come with the amount of generous equipment and space that the Skoda Fabia does. It’s the reason why so many (more than 4.5 million, to be precise) have been sold since launch.
This latest fourth-generation Skoda Fabia throws in some really neat features as standard, including LED headlights, body coloured bumpers, a touchscreen infotainment system with DAB radio and Bluetooth connectivity, and a roof-mounted spoiler. Skoda’s signature fuel cap ice scraper is also included, which comes in handy when you go to drive your car on colder days.
The Skoda Fabia’s engine range is refreshingly simple. Choose from a host of 1.0-litre petrol engines, from an entry-level 80bhp unit which does without a turbocharger, to two versions of the same engine that are turbocharged, one with 95bhp, the other with 110bhp. Either one of the turbocharged engines are the go-to units in the range, and will give your Fabia the pep it needs to not be considered slow.
If you want a small car that promises enough space for a small family, then the Skoda Fabia is a fantastic choice. Rear space is roomier than its Ford Fiesta rival; on a par with the likes of the Seat Ibiza, both of which offer more than enough headroom and legroom for a car this size. Finally, there’s class-leading boot space in the Fabia (380 litres) that should allow you to fit around six carry-on suitcases in the cargo area.
Best Small Hatch: Kia Ceed
Frugal petrol engines are available, or if you do a lot of miles, there’s a diesel-hybrid option which is extremely refined and economical.
It doesn’t stop with the engines, either. There are different body types you can choose from, including a family-friendly hatchback, or if you need more room, there’s a more practical Sportswagon estate.
All trim levels of the Kia Ceed come with very good levels of equipment, including 16in alloy wheels, cruise control, a 8in touchscreen infotainment system with smartphone mirroring, plus a reversing camera and plenty of advanced safety systems.
If you consider a new Kia Ceed model, you’ll benefit from Kia’s impressive seven-year warranty too.
Best Family Car: Hyundai Ioniq 5
Running purely on electric power, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 has grabbed headlines since it was released in December last year.
With a real range of around 235 miles between charges in the 77kWh battery version, bucketloads of passenger space, zippy performance and brilliant onboard tech, it’s hard to pick faults with the Ioniq 5.
It’s also got performance going for it too, with three power outputs available for the electric motors – 170bhp, 217bhp and 305bhp. Which one you go for depends on how quick you want to go when you floor it and whether you want better traction through an all-wheel-drive setup, the latter of which is only available on the most powerful model.
Most people will be happy with the rear-wheel-drive 170bhp version, which manages 0-60mph in a swift 8.5 seconds and is coupled with the 54kWh battery. This is good for real range of around 185 miles. Stepping up from this, the 217bhp version slashes this accleration time down to 7.0 seconds and has the larger 77kWh battery pack, increasing the range to 235 miles. Finally, the range-topping all-wheel-drive model whizzes you up to 60mph from standstill in just 5.2 seconds, but doesn’t significantly impact real range either, which you can expect to be around the 230-mile mark.
Best Estate: Genesis G70 Shooting Brake
You may have heard of Hyundai’s plush brand, Genesis, by now, but if you haven’t, then I’m sure you’ll be just as interested than if you had. That’s because Genesis is a very peculiar manufacturer, but is very good at doing things differently.
German cars in this segment dominate, such as the BMW 3 Series Touring and Audi A4 Avant, both of which are superb. But what they don’t have is the Gensis G70 Shooting Brake’s striking design, even if the car doesn’t drive as well as its closest rivals.
Then there’s the inside too, which carries on the feeling of luxury with extravagant designs which remind you almost of being inside a Bentley. On top of this, the car’s rather ‘outdated’ infotainment setup actually works in its favour, because there’s no distracting touchscreen, and you can use buttons to control the infotainment system, which is much more user-friendly.
All in all, you can pick faults with the Genesis G70 Shooting Brake, but it’s a brave effort and there’s plenty to like.
Best Small Crossover: Toyota Yaris Cross
The Toyota Yaris Cross is a rather unique offering, but is bang-on trend with two things:
- What people want
- What Toyota does well
‘And what are those two things?’, I hear you ask. Well, they are small hybrid cars and SUVs. The Toyota Yaris Cross is essentially a combination of both these things, so what could possibly go wrong?
No, that’s not teeing up this car for failure, either. In fact, it’s a very good choice, hence why it’s already a multi-award-winning car.
So, what does it do well? For starters, the design is very strikingly modern, the 1.5-litre petrol engine works with an electric motor to make it fuel-efficient and nippy, then you’ve got plenty of space for the family too.
Above anything else, though, is just how affordable the Toyota Yaris Cross is. All specs seem to offer great value for money, with the entry-level spec getting all the kit you need, including 16in alloy wheels, an 8.2in touchscreen infotainment system with smartphone mirroring, and enhanced safety features such as a pre-collision system that can provide emergency steering if needed.
Best Medium Crossover: Skoda Enyaq
Thankfully, the electric car market has come a long way in the past decade. More and more EVs have been made, increasing the amount of competition and driving prices slowly, but surely, down. So much so that you can now get your hands on a pretty decent electric car, for not a ridiculous amount of money.
This leads us nicely onto the Skoda Enyaq in question here.
It’s hard to believe that it’s been available to order in the UK for over a year, but in that time it’s earned quite the reputation. For starters, it’s Skoda’s first bespoke electric car, so immediately it earns brownie points for being engineered with EV usability in mind, rather than just being a regular car that’s been modified to be an electric car.
The Skoda Enyaq is also a pretty big SUV, so you won’t have to worry about fitting a family with all their luggage in here.
Performance is plenty enough for most drivers, too. There are two versions, the 60 and the 80, the first of which has a 62kWh battery that’s good for a real range of around 205 miles. The 80 goes one step beyond this, with a real range of around 260 miles. Each one has a different power electric motor, too, with the 60 getting 179bhp with rear-wheel-drive, while the 80 has a 204bhp electric motor or there’s a range-topping 80x model that bumps this up to 265bhp and throws in four-wheel-drive for extra traction and acceleration.
Best Large Crossover: BMW iX
From its lightweight carbon-fibre construction and funky rear-hinged doors, to its brilliantly engineered electric and battery combination engines, all of which have the brand’s esteemed xDrive four-wheel-drive system as standard. The BMW iX is ahead of its time.
The whopping 105kWh battery pack is top of its game by electric car standards today, with a real range of around 315 miles. For this reason, it has to be our favoured choice over the 77kWh, which offers around 215 miles of range between charges, and doesn’t really inspire a great deal of excitement for a car this pricey.
Inside every BMW iX is the brand’s latest and greatest iDrive infotainment system, which uses a 14.9in infotainment touchscreen side-by-side with a 12.3in digital instrument panel, both of which span the dashboard in style. The car doesn’t forget the basics, however, with plenty of seat and steering wheel adjustment available to help you get comfy in the iX.
Best Luxury Car: Porsche Taycan
Everything about the Porsche Taycan is quality, something which we’ve all come to expect from the legendary Italian sports car manufacturer.
Stepping inside the Porsche Taycan is where you find out just how much quality has gone into building the car. Screens dominate the space, with a 10.9in one in the centre of the dash, a portrait-oriented one nestled smartly in the centre console, then an optional one above the glovebox in front of the passenger.
Most importantly, the materials on display are hands-down better than any other electric car on the market. Everything you can touch and see feels upmarket and scrweed together exceptionally well.
Other perks in the Porsche Taycan include wireless phone charging as standard, a 10-speaker stereo (this can be upgraded to a Bose 14-speaker system for even crisper audio), and adaptive Matrix LED headlights are standard too.
Best Performance Car: Hyundai i20N
There’s no way that anything but a hot hatch could win Best Performance Car when Brit motoring journalists are put in charge. Simply put, we love a good hot hatch – something that can put a smile on our face, but at the same time can easily double up as a daily driver.
The Hyundai i20N is exactly that.
In short, it’s fast, it’s exciting, and it comes in as one of the cheaper hot hatches available.
Just to give you a flavour of what’s under it’s bonnet, here lies a 201bhp 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine. The extra cylinder gives the i20N a bit more old school throat than the Ford Fiesta ST.
Officially, the Hyundai i20N can get from 0-60mph in just 5.9 seconds and has a 142mph top speed. It’s also very good around corners too, which is equally as important, thanks to a sports suspension. On top of this, there’s a fun little feature called ‘launch control’, which allows you to spring off the line quickly in a drag race.
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