The BMW i3 has lifted the top prize at the first-ever UK Car of the Year Awards. It triumphed in the Best Supermini category before the new BMW went on to scoop the title of UK Car of the Year 2014.
The awards, which include 11 categories and one overall prize, are voted for by 27 of the most respected motoring journalists in the UK. Each is an expert in their field to ensure UK consumers get the best advice possible, whichever type of car they are considering buying.
In the overall vote, which featured the likes of the Porsche Cayman, Range Rover Sport, BMW 5 Series, Citroen C4 Grand Picasso and Audi A3, almost half of the 27-strong judging panel chose the i3.
“Alternative vehicles have made a big impression on UK car buyers in recent years, and the i3 takes things to the next level,” said John Challen, Managing Director of UK Car of the Year Awards, and Editor of ukcoty.co.uk. “It might be a new direction for BMW, but the i3 successfully retains the driving characteristics from BMW’s more established models.”
Uwe Dreher, BMW UK Marketing Director, (pictured with John Challen) commented on the win: “For the BMW i3 to be voted as the first-ever UK Car of the Year is real testament to the years of research and development that have gone into making BMW’s first electric production car. The BMW i3 has pushed the boundaries in every way from sustainable production, to its unique construction and revolutionary ownership proposition. The judging panel clearly recognise this and we are delighted to be given such an independent accolade.”
Elsewhere, praise came from BBC Top Gear’s Tom Ford, who commented: “i3 moves the game on for urban and inter-urban transport. It is clever, exciting, useful and desirable.”
Tim Pollard, from MSN, said that i3 “Shows that small cars can be at the cutting edge of technology – and that EVs can be desirable,” while Press Association’s Matt Joy believes that the new BMW “makes the fundamental leap for the electric car, namely that it is desirable for reasons other than its eco credentials.”
Runner-up to the BMW i3 for the UK Car of the Year 2014 prize was the Ford Fiesta ST, which won the Best Performance Car category. Joint third place went to the Skoda Octavia Estate and Jaguar F-type, which topped the Best Estate and Best Open Top Car categories respectively.
Full list of UK Car of the Year Awards 2014 winners
Best Supermini – BMW i3
Best Small Hatch – Audi A3
Best Family Car – Skoda Octavia
Best Executive Car – BMW 5 Series
Best Luxury Car – Mercedes-Benz S-Class
Best Estate Car – Skoda Octavia Estate
Best MPV – Citroën C4 Grand Picasso
Best 4×4 – Range Rover Sport
Best Coupé – Porsche Cayman
Best Open Top Car – Jaguar F-type
Best Performance Car – Ford Fiesta ST