The 2014 UK Car of the Year Awards consisted of 11 categories and one overall prize, with winners voted for by 27 of the most respected motoring journalists in the UK.
Out of the 11 category winners, one was chosen to be the overall UK Car of the Year for 2014. At the first ever UK Car of the Year Awards, BMW’s all-new electric car, the i3, was given the honour.
The runner-up for the UK Car of the Year was the Ford Fiesta ST, while third place went jointly to the Skoda Octavia Estate and the Jaguar F-TYPE.
A round-up of all of the category winners can be found below.
Best Supermini & UK Car of the Year – BMW i3
The BMW i3 was one of the favourites for the overall title and the model certainly did not disappoint.
After claiming the ‘Best Supermini’ accolade, the sleek electric hatchback then went on to hold off stiff competition from Ford, Jaguar and Skoda to land the inaugural UK Car of the Year title.
John Challen, the Managing Director of the UK Car of the Year Awards, commented: “Alternative vehicles have made a big impression on UK car buyers in recent years, and the i3 takes things to the next level.
“It might be a new direction for BMW, but the i3 successfully retains the driving characteristics from BMW’s more established models."
The new range-extender model impressed the UKCOTY judges with its design, performance and innovation.
BMW’s all-new i3 comes fitted with an electric motor, generating 170bhp and 250Nm of torque. The model has a range of between 80 and 100 miles and does not produce any CO2 emissions.
Any customers who may have ‘range anxiety’ can instead opt for the BMW i3 Range Extender, which includes a 34bhp 650cc two-cylinder petrol engine. The engine powers a generator in order to maintain the charge of the i3’s lithium-ion battery while on the move.
Standard equipment is plentiful, with models receiving 19-inch light alloy wheels, DAB digital radio, Bluetooth hands-free with USB audio interface, automatic air conditioning, leather multi-function steering wheel, Start/Stop button with Comfort Go keyless engine start and rain sensor with automatic wiper and headlight activation.
The all-new BMW i3 is priced from £25,680, while the Range Extender version costs £28,830. Both prices include the £5,000 Government Plug-In Car Grant.
Best Small Hatch – Audi A3
The popular Audi A3 was the recipient of the ‘Best Small Hatch’ accolade at the 2014 UK Car of the Year Awards.
Audi’s best-selling model in the UK is priced from £18,280 and is available in three trim levels: SE, Sport and S line, with petrol and diesel variants on offer.
As standard, the A3 hatchback comes fitted with 16-inch alloy wheels, a 5.8-inch QVGA colour display screen, Audi Music Interface, Bluetooth, DAB digital radio, front fog lights, leather multi-function steering wheel and air conditioning.
Moving up the trim levels brings desirable features such as larger alloys, cloth/leather upholstery, Xenon plus headlights, sports suspension, sports seats and dual-zone electronic climate control.
Winning the ‘Best Small Hatch’ award is a great coup for the Audi A3 hatchback as it is up against strong competition in its sector. Rivals include the BMW 1 Series, Mercedes-Benz A-Class and the Volkswagen Golf.
A popular model for business car drivers in particular would be the Audi A3 1.6-litre TDI 104bhp, which emits just 99g/km of CO2, along with offering average fuel economy of 74.3mpg. This version is the only sub-100g/km CO2 model in the Audi A3 range.
Best Family Car – Skoda Octavia
Skoda received a lot of love at the 2014 UK Car of the Year Awards, with the Czech manufacturer taking two honours.
The first was given to its popular Octavia hatchback, which was named ‘Best Family Car’ by the panel of respected motoring journalists.
With CO2 emissions from 85g/km and a Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) tax rating from 13% for 2013/14, the Octavia Hatch is also well suited for business drivers.
One of the key features for the Skoda Octavia is its class-leading boot space, with the model offer 590 litres of space with the rear seats up and a massive 1,580 litres with them folded down.
The model has also undergone a weight-loss programme, with the latest Octavia Hatch weighing in at 102kg lighter than its predecessor.
Prices for the Skoda Octavia hatchback start from £16,310, with the frugal GreenLine III model priced at £20,150 and the more powerful vRS versions costing from £23,310.
Standard equipment includes 16-inch alloy wheels, leather steering wheel, daytime running lights, Bluetooth, DAB digital radio, air conditioning, tinted glass, curtain airbags and stop/start system, among others.
Best Executive Car – BMW 5 Series
Along with the i3, BMW had another winner at the 2014 UKCOTY Awards, with the ever-popular 5 Series taking the crown for the ‘Best Executive Car’.
The BMW 5 Series is available in two popular versions: Saloon and Touring. The 5 Series makes a great car for business drivers as it is stylish and will turn heads wherever it goes.
Four trim levels are available for customers to choose from: SE, Modern, Luxury and M Sport. As expected with a BMW vehicle, all models are packed with equipment.
Standard kit for the 5 Series includes 17-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic air conditioning, Bluetooth, Xenon headlights, BMW Professional radio, 6.5-inch colour display screen, leather upholstery and the renowned kidney grille.
Depending on the model chosen, the higher trim levels bring additional features such as larger alloys, front foglights, leather multi-function steering wheel, sport seats, M aerodynamic bodystyling and M Sport suspension, among much more.
BMW 5 Series Saloon models are priced from £30,265, while the Touring variants come with a price tag from £32,590.
Best Luxury Car – Mercedes-Benz S-Class
Perhaps one of the least surprising results of the 2014 UK Car of the Year Awards was the Mercedes-Benz S-Class being named the ‘Best Luxury Car’ as the model simple exudes class.
Created with the aim of being the “best car in the world", the Mercedes S-Class is known for its innovative technologies and excellent ride.
Awarding the title to the S-Class, the UKCOTY judges commented: “The S-Class is one of the few cars in the world where you would happily spend as much time in the back as you would behind the wheel.
“Impressive driving dynamics, coupled with a host of cutting-edge technologies, have seen Mercedes set new standards for the sector."
Mercedes’ award-winning S-Class range comprises three petrol engines and one diesel unit, with it set to expand to include a choice of four-, six-, eight- and 12-cylinder engines.
In addition, the line-up will include three hybrids, led by the anticipated S 500 Plug-in Hybrid and set to arrive towards the end of the year.
A highlight of the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class, which is priced from £62,650, is its MAGIC BODY CONTROL. This cutting-edge technology provides a smooth ride through the use of clever stereo camera that scan the road ahead and change the model’s suspension settings accordingly.
Best Estate Car – Skoda Octavia Estate
The next award for Skoda was presented to the Octavia Estate, which was named the ‘Best Estate Car’ by the UKCOTY judges and joint third place for the top prize.
The Estate version builds upon the Hatch’s class-leading practicality by offering a cavernous 1,740-litre boot, along with a wheelbase that is 11cm longer.
Depending on the trim level, the Skoda Octavia Estate features numerous modern safety systems, such as Driver Fatigue Sensor and Automatic Post-Collision Brake, while Lane Assistant and Crew Protection Assistant are both optional.
As with the hatchback, the Octavia Estate would represent a perfect choice for business and fleet drivers, with CO2 emissions from 99g/km and BiK tax rating from just 14%. The model also offers average fuel economy of up to 74.3mpg.
Trim levels, equipment and engine offerings are the same as with the Skoda Octavia Hatch. Prices for the estate version start from £17,115, with the top of the range vRS 2.0 TDI 182bhp DSG model costing £25,775.
Best MPV – Citroën Grand C4 Picasso
The new Citroën Grand C4 Picasso, which was only launched in the UK at the beginning of 2014, was named the ‘Best MPV’ at the inaugural UK-based awards.
Available from £19,200, the new Grand C4 Picasso is a practical, versatile and good-looking offering for the seven-seat compact MPV segment.
The model has already been named TopGear magazine’s ‘Family Car of the Year’ and What Car? magazine’s ‘MPV of the Year’. It is also one of just seven finalists shortlisted for the prestigious 2014 Car of the Year award.
One of the members of the UKCOTY judging panel, Rachel Burgess from MotorTorque, Askaprice’s sister brand, remarked: “The French carmaker has surpassed itself with the Grand C4 Picasso, creating a good-yet-individual looking car that seats seven people – a feat in itself.
“Add in decent steering and handling and an impressive engine line-up and this car will go far, in every sense of the word."
Available in four trim levels (VTR, VTR+, Exclusive and Exclusive+), the new Grand C4 Picasso comes equipped with 16-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, panoramic windscreen, seven-inch Touch Drive interface and cruise control as standard.
Best 4x4 – Land Rover Range Rover Sport
Land Rover’s all-new Range Rover Sport was the recipient of the ‘Best 4x4’ honour, wowing the UKCOTY judges with its excellent performance, both on- and off- road.
Priced from £51,550, the new Range Rover Sport is available with a select of V6 and V8 engines, with CO2 emissions as low as 194g/km on a combined cycle at 38.7mpg.
The range-topping Range Rover Sport 5.0-litre V8 version develops a whopping 510bhp and 625Nm of torque, powering the model to a 0-62mph time of 5.3 seconds.
Land Rover’s sleek and powerful Range Rover Sport is available in four trim levels: SE, HSE, HSE Dynamic and Autobiography Dynamic.
Up against excellent models like the BMW X5, Porsche Cayenne and the Mercedes-Benz M-Class in its segment, the Range Rover Sport responds to the challenge with excellent all-round ability and quality both inside and out.
As standard, all models come fitted with dual-zone climate control, leather upholstery, DAB digital audio, heated front seats, HD navigation, Terrain Response, intelligent stop-start, Say-What-You-See voice control and four-corner air suspension with automatic levelling.
Best Coupe – Porsche Cayman
Taking the crown for the ‘Best Coupe’ was the sleek and stylish Porsche Cayman, with the latest version the third generation of the benchmark mid-engined sports coupe.
The Porsche Cayman is priced from £39,694 and features a flat-six ‘boxer’ engine, with displacements of either 2.7- or 3.4-litres.
Judges for the 2014 UK Car of the Year Awards loved the Cayman, with MotorTorque Editor Simon McBride saying that the model simply “walks its class", while adding that it is “the best Cayman ever".
Two versions of the coupe are available, the Cayman and the Cayman S, with customers able to pair the engine with either a six-speed manual gearbox or the optional Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) transmission.
For the best performance, customers should opt for the Porsche Cayman S, with the 325bhp engine mated to the PDK transmission. This version of the coupe can complete the benchmark sprint in just 4.9 seconds, before going on to reach a top speed of 174mph.
Standard equipment includes air conditioning, 18-inch alloy wheels, CD audio with seven-inch touch-screen control interface, universal audio interface offering MP3 connectivity, auto stop-start function, ‘Sport’ button, top tinted windscreen, electronic parking brake and automatic headlight activation.
The more powerful Cayman S model brings additional 19-inch alloy wheels, Bi-Xenon headlights and part leather interior to the mix.
Best Open Top Car – Jaguar F-TYPE
The eagerly-anticipated Jaguar F-TYPE convertible has received widespread acclaim since its debut and now the company is celebrating another 2014 honour for the sports car.
Jaguar’s convertible sports car claimed the ‘Best Open Top Car’ title at the UK Car of the Year 2014 Awards and was joint-third for the overall prize with the Skoda Octavia Estate.
The all-new two-seater topped a category filled with strong contenders from the likes of Audi, BMW and Lotus to claim the award.
Praise for the new model ranged from referencing the F-TYPE’s “stunning looks" to saying that the convertible is “a truly worthy successor to the E-Type".
Three versions of the sports car are available to order now: the standard F-TYPE, the F-TYPE S and the top of the range F-TYPE V8 S. Prices for the F-TYPE, F-TYPE S and F-TYPE V8 S start from £58,520, £67,520 and £79,985, respectively.
As well as featuring an eight-speed automatic transmission, the models come equipped with 18-inch alloy wheels, eight-inch colour touch-screen display, leather steering wheel, leather sports seats, sports suspension, sports exhaust and bi-function HID Xenon headlamps.
Moving up the range brings additional luxuries such as larger alloys, quad exhaust pipes, ‘S’ badging, configurable ambient lighting and Jaguar Super Performance Braking System.
Best Performance Car – Ford Fiesta ST
Rounding off the awards was the presentation of the ‘Best Performance Car’ to the pacy Ford Fiesta ST.
The new award follows recognition last month from What Car? and TopGear magazines, which both proclaimed the Fiesta ST their overall Car of the Year.
Ford’s award-winning Fiesta ST hot hatch is fitted with a 178bhp 1.6-litre EcoBoost petrol engine. The model is capable of a 0-62mph sprint time of 6.9 seconds and a top speed of 139mph. The Fiesta ST is also capable of 47.9mpg.
The £17,245 Ford Fiesta ST was the runner-up for the overall Car of the Year award, in addition to its ‘Best Performance Car’ accolade.
The general consensus from the judges was that the hot hatch is good value, huge fun and very capable, while offering incredible value for money.
Ford’s popular Fiesta ST offers performance-tuned steering, suspension and brakes, along with Torque Vectoring Control. Models also feature Ford MyKey, to limit inexperienced or young drivers, as well as SYNC with Emergency Assistance connectivity and Recaro sports seats as standard.