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Leasing a winner: UK Car of the Year Awards 2024

 Published 15th April 2024
Driver Guides 

It’s awards season, and while Oppenheimer and Barbie may have been sweeping aside the competition we can exclusively reveal one highly coveted prize that was guaranteed to elude them both. For all their Hollywood glitz and glamour, neither of them could even make it onto the list of nominees for UK Car of the Year 2024. This year, that particular honour has deservedly gone to the Kia EV9.

The UK Car of the Year Awards celebrated its 10th year in 2024, bringing together its biggest and best ever judging panel, comprising 30 motoring journalists from around the UK. The judges selected their top cars from seven different categories, with the winning model in each of the segments qualifying for a place on the shortlist for the overall car of the year.

Unsurprisingly, electric vehicles led the way this year with five of the seven winners being battery powered. After the first round of voting, no manufacturer had claimed more than one award with each of the seven categories being won by a different brand.

Of course, what you really want to know is which one of the winners you should lease for yourself. Well, that’s going to depend on which category you’re thinking of.

Renault Clio Car of the year awards 2024

Small Car – Renault Clio

Launched last year, the latest generation of Renault’s popular hatchback impressed the judges with its combination of style, value, comfort, and practicality. The accolade reaffirms the model as the benchmark in its sector, continuing the Clio’s award-winning success since it was first introduced in 1990.

The Renault Clio was commended for its fresh new look, excellent interior, and efficient hybrid options. It offers a great balance of space and refinement, trendy styling, affordability, and lots of fun behind the wheel. With a choice of powertrains, including the innovative full hybrid option, the generously-equipped three-model line-up means if you’re in the market for a small hatchback you can’t really go wrong with a Renault Clio.

Hyundai Ioniq 6 Car of the year awards 2024

Family Car – Hyundai IONIQ 6

Hyundai already has one win under its belt after it took the overall title in 2022 with the IONIQ 5. This year it had to settle for a category win and second place overall for the streamlined IONIQ 6.

The judges praised the IONIQ 6 for its combination of unique interior and exterior design, aerodynamic efficiency and ultra-fast 800v charging technology. The strikingly aerodynamic full-electric saloon stands out as a compelling alternative in a world of SUV crossovers. Inside, its impressively spacious cabin makes the most of the EV-dedicated long wheelbase while the minimalist design ensures it’s a pleasant place to sit for a long journey.

BMW i5 Car of the year awards 2024

Executive Car – BMW i5

BMW – which won the inaugural title in 2014 and then triumphed again in 2015 – claimed this year’s Executive Car category with the new i5. Part of the eighth generation 5 Series which launched in May 2023, BMW now offers an all-electric drivetrain for the first-time in the i5.

The all-new BMW i5 Saloon has impressed from the offset and this title is its ninth award in the relatively short time since it first appeared. A BMW 5 Series is always a great option for an executive car, and the i5 was praised for its quality, performance, and class. When you add-in the efficiency of an EV with a suitably long range and the tax efficiency for business drivers it was probably a foregone conclusion that the BMW i5 would lead the way.

Honda Civic Type R Car of the year awards 2024

Performance Car – Honda Civic Type R

The Honda Civic Type R reaffirmed its dominance by clinching top spot in the Performance Car category. Renowned for its dynamic driving experience, the Civic Type R has consistently set new standards for usable performance cars.

The Honda Civic Type R captivated the judges with its exceptional handling, precision engineering, and cutting-edge technology. Regarded as one of the most fun cars you could possibly drive, the latest Civic Type R is the fastest and most powerful yet, but not at the expense of driveability. Its 2.0-litre turbocharged engine and slick gearbox make every journey feel like a special event, and underneath it all is an eminently practical hatchback you can use every day.

Volvo EX30 Car of the year awards 2024

Small Crossover – Volvo EX30

The Small Crossover prize also went to an EV as the Volvo EX30 triumphed over the competition. Volvo’s small SUV also took third place overall, making it an all-electric podium for 2024.

The Volvo EX30 is one of the UK’s best all-round EVs and its appeal comes from its style and driving experience, as well as being proof that a premium car doesn’t necessarily have to carry a premium price tag to match.

It boasts a gloriously airy and comfortable interior and handles the bumpiest of roads with an ease that won’t cause you to spill your morning coffee all over the recycled and renewable upholstery. It may lack a little of the range of larger models, but with around 295 miles from a full battery and fast-charging times under 30 minutes it’s still a very practical choice of EV.

Fisker Ocean Car of the year awards 2024

Medium Crossover – Fisker Ocean

California-based carmaker Fisker is a relative newcomer to the EV market, but with a boss who has previously worked on the design of the Aston Martin DB9 and V8 Vantage, as well as the BMW Z8, there’s a wealth of experience to call on. The Fisker Ocean is the brand’s first foray into the crossover segment so topping the group in this year’s awards is quite an achievement.

The Ocean achieved the highest award in the Medium Crossover category with special praise for its beautiful design, ease of use, cutting-edge technology, extensive range, and competitive pricing. Clever touches such as the revolving 17.1-inch touchscreen combine with space, comfort, and a range well in excess of 400 miles to create a car that thoroughly deserves its top spot in the competition.

Kia EV9 Car of the year awards 2024

Large Crossover – Kia EV9

The third of three crossover categories at the awards went to Kia, whose EV9 was named the best Large Crossover. The Kia EV9’s practicality and quality not only took the category, the seven-seat SUV also ensured that the overall UK Car of the Year Award went to an EV for the third year in a row.

The Kia EV9 was a clear winner with almost half of the 30-strong jury choosing it as their UK Car of the Year for 2024. Seven seats, loaded with technology, premium quality, fantastic to drive, and with enough battery power to ensure you won’t get struck with range anxiety every time you leave the house. The EV9 took top spot on the basis that it does everything you want and does it all brilliantly. According to the judges, even the entry-level model is generous enough with its specification, comfort, and range to be all you need.

“The uber practical Kia EV9 could be the vehicle that gets more drivers out of their petrol or diesel car than any other model,” said John Challen, co-chairman, UK Car of the Year Awards.

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