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UKCOTY 2014 winners – verdicts from the judges

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The panel of judges on the UK Car of the Year Awards 2014 are not expected to drive every single model that is released within a given 12-month period, but each has an extensive knowledge of the different sectors. As a result they are in a position to decide which models stand out from the crowd and why. Here are just some of the comments about the category-winning vehicles, that saw off stiff competition from their rivals.

Supermini of the Year – BMW i3

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“Makes the fundamental leap for the electric car, namely that it is desirable for reasons other than its eco credentials. Clever, modern, and great to drive and, considering the technology behind it, good value.” MATT JOY

“i3 is a proper, forward-thinking car, which offers the best demonstration of hybrid and electric technology in the automotive world so far.” MIKE BREWER


Small Hatch of the Year – Audi A3

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“The small hatch most buyers aspire to, and most manufacturers want to copy.” STEVE MOODY

“No-nonsense, everyday practicality, combined with peerless build quality and superior ergonomics.” ANTHONY FFRENCH-CONSTANT


Family Car of the Year – Skoda Octavia

Skoda Octavia side

“The latest Octavia demonstrates excellent driving dynamics and sharp looks as well as interior quality, comfort and space, beating its top competitors for luggage load.” RACHEL BURGESS

“The Skoda offers more space than any similarly priced rival, without compromising on driver appeal, cabin quality or standard equipment.” DAVID MOTTON


Executive Car of the Year – BMW 5 Series

BMW 5 Series side

“All the car you’ll ever need. Exuding quality, it mixes driving enjoyment with executive style. Whether it’s a ‘fruity’ diesel engine or a ‘pokey’ petrol unit you will enjoy jumping into the 5 Series every single time.” SIMON McBRIDE

“None of its European or Japanese rivals can come close to matching the 5’s consummate blend of style, performance, intelligent engineering and outright desirability.” BEN WHITWORTH


Luxury Car of the Year – Mercedes S-Class

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“The new S-class is an extraordinary, joyous act of carmaking from the world’s oldest car maker. As with S-classes past, it bristles with brilliant new technology that will soon filter down to humbler cars.” BEN OLIVER

“The best luxury car has just got better; the new S-Class gives you more of everything.” KEN GIBSON


Estate Car of the Year – Skoda Octavia Estate

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“The Skoda is roomier and more practical than many more expensive estate cars. Why spend more?” DAVID MOTTON

“Functional, spacious and affordable, the Octavia wagon ticks all of the expected boxes, but it goes so much further in the way it drives and the refinement it offers to be a cut above its rivals.” ALISDAIR SUTTIE


MPV of the Year – Citroen Grand C4 Picasso

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“Citroën hits the family bullseye.” TIM POLLARD

“With seven useable seats and a host of family friendly features, the Grand C4 Picasso is as practical as before, but the improvements in the quality of the interior – along with the fit and finish – really help lift it to another level.” DAVID ROSS


4×4 of the Year – Range Rover Sport

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“Looks good, drives well, is economical and priced right.” KYLE FORTUNE

“A Range Rover Sport finally worthy of the name. Rounds off an extremely compelling Range Rover range.” TOM FORD


Coupe of the Year – Porsche Cayman

Porsche Cayman side

“The correct answer to the pub bore’s ‘If you could only have one car…’ question.” ANTHONY FFRENCH-CONSTANT

“Nine-tenths of the 911 driving experience for three-fifths of the price – the latest version is the best Porsche in a decade.” MATT JOY


Open Top Car of the Year – Jaguar F-Type

Jaguar F-type V6 side

“The F-type is an easy winner here because it does what Jaguar does best: it offers Ferrari-beating pace and looks, at half the cost. Rule Britannia.” ALISDAIR SUTTIE

“The generation of drivers that missed out on the E-type have a new hero. F-type has succeeded in capturing the best elements of a classic, in a modern day package.” JOHN CHALLEN


Performance Car of the Year – Ford Fiesta ST

Fiesta ST front

“Very simply, the Fiesta ST offers incredible value for money and is also a fantastic car to drive, both every day and on a b-road blast.” TRISTAN YOUNG

“Arguably the best ST product to date, the Fiesta ST is a hot-hatch bargain as well as being the most fun to drive.” MATT JOY




UK Car of the Year 2014 – BMW i3

BMW i3 rear 34 dynamic

“A small revolution with its lightweight construction, superior range compared to rival EVs, engaging driveability, quality, thoughtful detailing and pleasingly individual style.” RICHARD BREMNER

“The BMW i3 is the car of tomorrow, here today.” IAN LYNAS

“Pushing the boundaries of what buyers can expect from a small car, and for illustrating how advanced materials have a future in the volume automotive sector.” RICHARD YARROW

“i3 is a bold and brave take on electrification, and reveals a fresh design language that is purely BMW i.” NARGESS SHAMANESH-BANKS

“‘Game-changing’ is such a cliche but that is what i3 is. From the eco-focused technology that underpins it, to the modern and functional design and material choices the i3 is far more than just a new car.” GUY BIRD

“Moves the game on. A desirable, premium electric car.” KYLE FORTUNE

“BMW has pulled off an excellent driveable and engaging car that beats many less premium rivals in the price stakes.” RACHEL BURGESS