Discover which of the fantastic models available across the Stoneacre dealership managed to impress the judges at Auto Express, winning a prestigious Auto Express 2020 New Car Award.
The all-new fifth-generation Renault Clio faced tough competition in the Supermini category, but it came out on top, thanks to its impressive practicality. That’s right, a practical supermini, the Clio offers ample legroom throughout the cabin as well as coming with 391-litres of space in the boot. Add to this an impressive mix of some of the latest car-technology for seamless connectivity on the move, and it is easy to see its appeal.
On the road, the refinement of the new-generation Renault Clio belies its size, with the smooth and efficient engines making light work of journeys. Meanwhile, the impeccably balanced suspension offers excellent ride comfort so you really can sit back and relax.
The icing on the cake, the new Renault Clio manages all of the above while still offering exceptional value for money.
Another Renault to make the list is the new Captur, which like the Clio has undergone revisions to ensure it makes a first-class car.
From the outside, new chunkier body styling offers greater appeal and meets consumers growing demand for beefier looking models. While under the bonnet, a range of punchy engines ensure the Captur delivers seamless performance alongside impressive refinement.
The cabin offers space and flexibility to make this model popular with families. For instance, the sliding rear seats allow you to prioritise rear passenger or boot space as you see fit. The latter of which ranges from 422-536-litres, so you get plenty of room to pack in everyone’s essentials.
To ensure good all-round capabilities extensive technology rounds off the package. So you can expect a seven-inch touchscreen with smartphone mirroring, parking sensors, autonomous emergency braking, lane-keep assist and cruise control on base models.
When it came to mid-size SUVs, the third-generation Ford Kuga was the model singled out by Auto Express new car award judges.
The Kuga is based on the same platform as the Focus family hatchback which means you get impressive handling for an SUV. In fact, Ford’s signature driver-focused approach offers a more fun driving experience thanks to well-weighted and responsive steering and plenty of road grip.
With the option of pure internal combustion, mild hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains, there is sure to be a Kuga for every driving requirement. What’s more, versatile on-board space with sliding rear seats and a maximum boot capacity of 526-litres prove its worth as a practical family SUV.
The Ford Kuga comes with what AutoExpress claims is arguably one of the best infotainment systems, Ford SYNC3. So if on-board gadgets and seamless connectivity are top of your wish list, the Kuga is worth checking out.
A whopping seven-seater the SEAT Tarraco is the model to choose if you need greater seating flexibility. With the practicality of an MPV in a sophisticated and stylish SUV package, the Tarraco is sure to make you the talk of the town.
Unlike many seven-seaters, the Tarraco’s third row of seats are adult-friendly, albeit you might not be too comfortable on longer drives. Plus thanks to a cavernous interior, you still get 213-litres of boot space when all seven seats are in place.
The middle row of seats come with the essential sliding function, and when pushed right forward with the third-row of seats tucked away, you get a whopping 700-litre loading compartment. The interior quality is refined yet robust, meaning you can relax knowing it will withstand the rigours of family life.
But it is the incredible value for money it offers that impressed judges. The cheapest entry-level model comes with full LED headlights, a 10.25-inch digital dash, an eight-inch colour touchscreen with smartphone mirroring, three-zone climate control and parking sensors, as well as the aforementioned versatility.
Yet again the Honda Civic Type R wins top marks from Auto Express in the hot hatch category. The Japanese manufacturer overhauled its high-performance Civic this year, introducing a line-up of three separate models.
Honda also made tweaks to the six-speed gearbox and subtle style modifications. However, fear not it is still as sporty looking as ever with only the Type R Sport model getting a slightly softer appearance.
The two-litre turbocharged petrol engine has 316bhp and 400Nm torque for a 0-62mph time of just 5.8 seconds. Meanwhile, upgrades to the dampers, suspension bushes and geometry, braking and subframe have all helped to improve focus without impacting its usability. So the Civic Type R continues to handle with balance, precision and bite.
A new and improved 52kWh battery has helped secure the Zoe the top spot when it comes to affordable electric motoring. Capable of around 239 miles on a single charge, it offers considerably better range than similarly priced models, which helps catapult it into a class of its own.
The range is bolstered by commendable charging capabilities, which allow you to charge in different ways depending on circumstance. 50Kw rapid-charging boosts battery to 80% in as little as an hour, making it ideal for topping up the power on longer journeys. Charging through the 7kW wallbox takes over nine hours, so you can plug it in before bed and wake up to a car full of juice.
Every Renault Zoe comes fitted with Renault’s Chameleon charger which accepts three to 22kW AC charging, so gives you plenty of scope. However, most will prefer to top-up at home via the free 7kW wallbox charger.
The Zoe’s practicalities don’t end there though, as it is also surprisingly spacious for a little car. A 338-litre boot capacity gives you plenty of room for the weekly food shop while on-board technology means you never miss out.
It seems the perseverance with hybrid technology has paid off for Toyota as they scoop this year’s Auto Express new car award in the affordable hybrid category.
With years of experience using hybrid powertrains, the new Yaris doesn’t disappoint. The 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine, twin motors and battery combine to produce 114bhp, making the Yaris surprisingly quick off the mark as well as being fun to drive. Meanwhile, the economy is impressive with claimed figures as high as 68.9mpg and CO2 emissions of just 92g/km.
For a supermini, the Toyota Yaris offers decent levels of practicality with a decent sized front passenger compartment as well as a handy 286-litre boot capacity. The new Yaris also comes with a fantastic amount of kit, with features including an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to LED headlights and a reversing camera.
The Ford Ranger has been commended by Auto Express for the second year in a row, as Auto Express claims it continues dominates the category.
The Ranger manages something few other pick up trucks do striking the right balances between workhorse dependability and everyday comfort.
You can opt for Ford’s two-litre EcoBlue diesel engine in a range of outputs as well as a selectable four-wheel drive function which helps you deal with tough terrain. While a well-sized load bed with decent payload and an impressive towing capacity ensure that no job is too big for the Ranger.
What’s more, by equipping the Ford Ranger with parts and functions from its passenger car line-up, Ford puts it head and shoulders above the rest. The high-quality interior offers advanced features including Ford’s noteworthy SYNC3 infotainment system. Plus it also is available with room for up to five on-board, so it is clear to see that this pick up will switch seamlessly between your work and home life.
In a year when vans have arguably been busier than ever, with more of us shopping online during lockdown, the Ford Transit Custom has come out on top for the team at Auto Express.
The mid-sized van offers unbeatable versatility thanks to the range of options available. As well as the choice of two body heights, there’s two different roof heights and the option of passenger-friendly cabs. In fact, there is even the option of something a little sportier thanks to the Transit Customer Sport which gains stylish racing stripes. So no matter what your business demands, there is sure to be a Transit Custom to suit.
Across the Ford Transit Custom specifications, a range of car-like luxuries are available to boost comfort and convenience. This includes the likes of Ford’s Quickclear windscreen, heated mirrors, automatic lights and wipers, parking sensors and a touchscreen infotainment system with smartphone connectivity, for example.
When it comes to engines, alongside the efficient two-litre EcoBlue engine, you can now opt for a PHEV model which is capable of 33-miles of pure electric motoring.
We hope this article has given you some insight into why each of the award-winning models was picked, which will help you when it comes to choosing your new car.
If you’re not sure a brand new model is right for you, then why not check out our article on ‘winners of the What Car? used car awards’ which focuses specifically on second-hand models. Don’t forget to let us know all about your new car in the comments below.
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