An electric car has been named the What Car? Car of the Year for the first time ever.
At the 2019 awards, the consumer magazine named the Kia e-Niro its overall winner, beating 23 other models to claim the prestigious title.
The pure electric crossover was Kia’s first winner of the Car of the Year title and the e-Niro also triumphed in the electric car category.
What Car? editor Steve Huntingford said: ‘The demand for electric cars has grown exponentially in recent years, and 2019 is shaping up to be the biggest year yet.
‘Most of the leading manufacturers have plans for new EVs, and the fact that the Kia e-Niro was able to beat all its petrol and diesel rivals to win the 2019 What Car? Car of the Year Award shows how far this technology has developed.
The e-Niro also won the electric car of the year award.
‘The e-Niro stood out because it addresses the key issues of cost and range that have traditionally prevented many motorists from taking the plunge into EV ownership.’
The e-Niro offers a real-world driving range of more than 250 miles and was praised for offering space, practicality and a usable electric range with very few compromises.
The Honda Ubrna EV won the readers award
Hyundai joined Kia in being recognised for its work with alternative fuels, being named winner of the technology award for its progress with electric and fuel cell technology.
The 2019 What Car? Awards saw the introduction of three new categories, recognising the best models in the plug-in hybrid, sports SUV and pick-up markets. These awards were won by the Volvo XC90 T8, Cupra Ateca and Volkswagen Amarok respectively.
The BMW 3 Series was crowned best executive car
Last year’s overall winner, the Volvo XC40, was family SUV of the year for a second year running, while the Skoda Octavia continued its run of success in the family car category, and the Peugeot 5008 reclaimed the crown for the best large SUV.
There were two titles for BMW with its 3 and 5 Series picking up the executive and luxury car titles and Mercedes’ A-Class scooped the safety award 2019 while the upcoming Honda Urban EV won the reader award.