What Car? has unveiled the full list of nominees for its highly anticipated Car of the Year Awards, in association with Warranty Direct, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary.
The first ever What Car? Car of the Year Awards took place in 1978, when the Renault 20 TS was crowned the overall winner and, throughout the years, the winners have gone on to become some of the most popular cars on the market.
As one of the most coveted accolades in the automotive industry, the awards are considered to be highly prestigious, resonating with manufacturers and consumers alike. The judging process is rigorous, with What Car? testing each car against key rivals on UK roads and at its dedicated test track to ensure that only cars that meet the highest standards feature.
The long list, comprising 114 vehicles, represents all of the cars that have been nominated in one of the What Car? Car of the Year Awards’ 17 categories. The winners of each category will also then be in the frame for the overall Car of the Year Award.
Making this year’s Awards even more competitive is the fact that two new categories have been introduced – ‘Hybrid’ and ‘Family SUV’. As well as electric cars, hybrids are gaining momentum in the market, fuelled by the introduction of the government’s low emission vehicle incentives, while the decision to split Small SUV into Small and Family reflects the explosion in the popularity of these high-riding models over the past decade.
The awards, which will take place on the evening of Tuesday 23 January 2018, will see the most hotly contested award, the overall Car of the Year 2018, presented to the most exceptional newcomer. This has to be a vehicle which has significantly raised the bar in the automotive industry, outperforming across all categories and judging criteria to take it head and shoulders above the rest of the competition.
What Car? Editor, Steve Huntingford, said: “It is always an exciting time of year for us when it comes to announcing the long list for the What Car? Car of the Year Awards, but it has been made even more special this year, because we are celebrating such a milestone anniversary. Over the last 40 years of the Awards, we have seen the automotive industry change dramatically, rising to the challenge of ever changing consumer trends and rapidly advancing technologies.
“Manufacturers never fail to surprise us with the vast range of outstanding cars they introduce and this year is no exception. The expansion of our long list to include even more contenders means that our judging panel has a tougher job than ever before in trying to select a stand-out car in each category and decide on an overall What Car? Car of the Year Award winner.”
Aside from overall Car of the Year, one of the most sought-after accolades is the Reader Award, sponsored by ALA GAP Insurance. Voted for by What Car? readers, the award reflects the general public’s opinion of the most exciting car due to go on sale in 2018.
The What Car? Car of the Year Awards 2018 will take place on Tuesday 23 January 2018 at London’s Grosvenor Hotel, Park Lane.