Autocar Britain’s Best Car Awards 2020

22 Oct 2020 by Lisa Simm

Autocar offers car enthusiasts and buyers a wealth of information on all aspects of motoring, so when they announce the Autocar best car awards, we take note. However, keen to do things differently Autocar sidestep the typical categorisation of cars by size and type. Instead, the judges at Autocar take a unique approach, considering not just how well the model performs its intended purpose, but also how likeable and enjoyable. As a result, the winners of Autocar awards are cars that you will genuinely enjoy owning and driving.

So let’s take a look at some of the winning models available across our extensive dealership network.

Autocar Best Small Car: Ford Fiesta

With agile handling, characterful engines and classic Ford engagement, the Fiesta never fails to impress. The seventh-generation model is one of the oldest models in this year’s Best car awards. However, age has done nothing to diminish its appeal.

A slightly more sophisticated design means the Ford Fiesta is more subtle than previous-generation models. Yet, beneath the bonnet, it retains the lively character which makes it so popular with a wide range of drivers. Ford’s one-litre Ecoboost engines, which make up the majority of the Fiesta line-up, make daily driving a joy. Not only livening up your commute with impressive power delivery and a surprisingly roary soundtrack, but delivering pocket friendly running costs.

Add to that Ford’s well-loved quick and direct steering, and you benefit from responsive and agile handling for ease wherever you are travelling.

Ford Fiesta

Autocar Best Car Tech: Honda e

The recently released Honda e brings extensive technology to the mainstream car market. Honda has managed to achieve such impressive integration of car technology by designing the car around the technology, rather than adding it as an afterthought. So from the outset, this car was designed to be more intuitive for the user.

One of the most notable and most forward-thinking features is the absence of wing mirrors which Honda has replaced with rearview cameras. Sure, it takes some adjusting to, but Autocar judges commented that soon you wonder how you managed without the more encompassing view they provide.

Meanwhile, on the inside, the full-width dashboard features two 12.3-inch touchscreens with information transferable across the two. Such a setup allows the passenger to complete more complex tasks, like typing in a destination, and then swipe the directions over to the driver, for instance.

Honda e interior

Autocar Best Electric Car: Peugeot e-208

When it comes to electric models, Autocar rated the Peugeot e-208 the best. The Autocar team commended its ability to offer a complete package which looks good, is fun to drive, performs well and has an impressive range. What’s more, it does all of this while remaining incredibly affordable for an electric model.

The e-208 also showcases how easy making the switch to an electric vehicle should be. With an official range of 217 miles, the Peugeot e-208 is not just limited to trips around town but is ideal for heading on longer journeys.

The premium interior is the perfect place to spend your commute. It features a slightly tweaked version of Peugeot’s unique i-Cockpit, which works well in this compact hatch, providing a comfortable driving position.

Meanwhile, on the road, it doesn’t disappoint, with the quick and easy steering making it a doddle to manoeuvre. Plus just like other electric models available, performance is there from the off, while cabin noise remains remarkably quiet. 

Peuegot e-208

Autocar Best Fun Car: Mazda MX-5

With the Mazda MX-5, you get a car that is affordable yet incredibly entertaining. In fact, Autocar felt other affordable performance models couldn’t come close to matching the handling and driver engagement of the MX-5.

One of the reasons for this is that unlike many other manufacturers, Mazda has chosen to prioritise handling over outright speed. Therefore you can enjoy an old school sporting driving experience complete with a sleek manual transmission. On top of this, 50:50 weight distribution, a low centre of gravity and lightweight, ensure the car has an impressive on-road presence and agility. The result is a car which is a real joy to drive.

To top it all off, the Mazda MX-5 is a convertible so you can experience all of the above while feeling the wind through your hair.

Autocar award winner for best fun car Mazda MX-5

Autocar Best Large Car: Citroen Berlingo

The Citroen Berlingo offers impressive versatility without compromise and comes well-priced, so buyers get incredible value for money.

The Citroen Berlingo is built to carry people and a whole lot of stuff. With both five and seven-seat variants available, there is an option for all requirements. Plus it is also effortlessly adaptable, so can be quickly changed to extend load capacity or improve passenger comfort. Further conveniences are available like the side sliding door which ensures easy access wherever you have parked.

The contemporary no-fuss exterior brings a new sense of sophistication to what is essentially a van-derived model. But it is on the road where it really impresses, with ride comfort that rivals many premium marques.

Autocar award for best large car - Citroen Berlingo

Autocar Best Hybrid Car: Toyota Corolla Two-Litre Hybrid

The Toyota Corolla two-litre hybrid brings a new sense of power and efficiency, with keen handling yet frugal running costs.

The Corolla rides and handles with a sense of quiet, supple sophistication that can respond to different situations. So you can drive conservatively in town or push harder for more rewarding and swift responsiveness. Plus as a self-charging model, with the Corolla, you can travel at will without having to give charging a second thought.

It’s not just the finessed drive that impressed judges though, as the bold design and handsome lines also caught their attention. Meanwhile, the interior of the Corolla doesn’t disappoint with a whole host of technology at your fingertips for more seamless journeys.

Autocar award wining Toyota Corolla

Autocar Best Manufacturer: Toyota

The sheer versatility of the Toyota line-up impressed the judges at Autocar. With everything from the Yaris to the Supra, the judges remarked the range is nothing if not diverse.

In recent years, Toyota has transformed itself into a brand as synonymous with exciting and enthusiastic sporty models as it is frugal hybrid everyday drives. The transformation is a result of input from Akio Toyoda, the Grandson of Toyota’s founder. Taking the helm in 2009, Akio Toyoda has brought his enthusiasm for racing and cars to the brand injecting a fresh sense of passion.

Changes to the marque’s success really kicked off in 2012 with the launch of the Toyota GT86. Since then, Toyota has carried this heightened desirability through to all of its models.

Furthermore, Toyota continues to be a leader of hybrid technology. Their years of experience with hybrid technology means their hybrid system is now leading the competition when it comes to the economy, emissions and driveability. But Toyota isn’t stopping there, as it continues to look at other approaches to reducing car emissions, by investing in hydrogen car technology.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on these award-winning models. Why not let us know if you agree with The Autocar winners by leaving a comment below?

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