New Car Awards 2018 shortlist announced
On 3 July, all eyes will be on the Auto Express New Car Awards 2018, as we reveal the models that should be on any buyer’s radar. The awards celebrate the best new cars on sale, from city cars to performance models, petrol, diesel, hybrid and electric alike. They’re voted for by the expert reviewers at Auto Express, and every single model is analysed according to specific criteria, with only the very best cars making the winners’ list.
So which cars are in the running for a New Car Awards category win? This year, we’ve announced our shortlist for all the main categories to whet your appetite for the most coveted awards in motoring. The categories cover the complete automotive spectrum and making the six-car shortlist for one of the 23 awards that have one is an achievement in itself.
Scroll down the page to see all the shortlisted cars and give us your thoughts on our choices in the comments section below or on social media using the #AEAwards tag...
City Car of the Year
Last year’s winner, the Volkswagen up!, is yet again vying for the crown of best city car. With the funky Suzuki Ignis and cheaper Skoda Citigo both hot its heels, the judges will be looking for innovative features and excellent packaging to help decide on a winner.
2017 winner: Volkswagen up!
Supermini of the Year
The supermini sector is a fiercely competitive one as topping this class is a passport to big sales. The Ford Fiesta has been on top of the best-selling cars charts in the UK for as long as most people care to remember but can it be beaten here? Refinement, technology and running costs will all be key in deciding a winner.
2017 winner: SEAT Ibiza
Convertible of the Year
In 2017, the Mercedes C-Class cabriolet took home to the title of best convertible, but this year it is nowhere to be seen. Build quality and driving dynamics are key in this market, but equally so, refinement and comfort are major factors that will be considered.
2017 winner: Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet
Compact Family Car of the Year
All the cars on this list are household names, and all are commonplace on UK roads. Previous compact family car winners include the Volkswagen Golf and Vauxhall Astra – both of which are in with a shout of winning this year.
2017 winner: Volkswagen Golf
Family Car of the Year
Family cars live hard lives, which is why our judges will be looking for a car that offers a high quality, well designed interior (it needs to be able to handle everything from crayon on the seats to buggies in the boot and not break a sweat). Low hassle, low cost motoring is also a must.
2017 winner: Skoda Superb
Compact Executive Car of the Year
The new kid on the block, the Kia Stinger, will be hoping to topple the best Europe has to offer in the compact executive car class. Breadth of talent is critical so offering good tech, a satisfying driving experience and comfort are necessities in this category.
2017 winner: Jaguar XE
Executive Car of the Year
The executive car field might be limited in size compared to some but with strong contenders from Volvo, Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Jaguar and Tesla, it is going to be extremely tough to pick a winner. Refinement, quality and a composed yet engaging driving experience are on the wishlist.
2017 winner: BMW 5 Series
Estate Car of the Year
Estate cars are all about everyday practicality – largely thanks to boot capacities that can swallow a small elephant. This year sees two contenders from Skoda, but also the new and hugely popular Volvo V60. Which will win?
2017 winner: Skoda Octavia Estate
Small SUV of the Year
The first of our SUV-specific categories, the best small SUVs are finding homes with customers who would previously have bought a small hatchback or supermini. Off-road capabilities are not really important in this class but sharp looks and competitive equipment levels are both essential.
2017 winner: Citroen C4 Cactus
Mid-size SUV of the Year
The Peugeot 3008 returns again after winning last year, but with the Skoda Karoq, Mazda CX-5 and others snapping at its heels, the judges will have a tough decision on their hands. Comfort, practicality and equipment are key here, but styling also plays a big role.
2017 winner: Peugeot 3008
Large SUV of the Year
Large SUVs are getting further and further away from their hardcore 4x4 roots, meaning off-road ability is less of a priority than infotainment and innovative interior features. That said, a mix of capabilities both on the Tarmac and off it is desirable.
2017 winner: Skoda Kodiaq
Small Premium SUV of the Year
The small premium SUV sector is a relatively new one, but it’s expanding quickly. Volvo appears to be on an incredible run of form recently, but the XC40 will have to trump the likes of the MINI Countryman, Jaguar E-Pace and Audi Q2 if it wants to emerge victorious.
Mid-size Premium SUV of the Year
The mid-sized premium SUV shortlist is largely made up of the big brothers and sisters of the small premium SUV contenders. The exceptions being the Mercedes GLC and the Alfa Romeo Stelvio. With judges looking for style, quality and high-end technology, FCA’s first SUV could be set to topple the favourites.
2017 winner: Volvo XC60
Large Premium SUV of the Year
Large premium SUVs have been becoming ever more opulent lately – the recently revealed £230,000 Rolls-Royce Cullinan being a case in point. The cars on our list more than justify their places thanks to exceptional performance across a range of areas, particularly interior quality.
2017 winner: Land Rover Discovery
MPV of the Year
Even though the popularity of MPVs seems to be coming under threat from the growth of SUVs, the models on offer are great options for families. Last year’s winner, the Citroen C4 Picasso, is once again in the mix but under the new name C4 SpaceTourer. Will have enough to fend off the Mercedes V-Class, the SUV-inspired Renault Grand Scenic and the rest?
2017 winner: Citroen Grand C4 Picasso
Roadster of the Year
Despite a regular dearth of sunshine, roadsters remain popular in the UK. The spread of contenders is huge, with the recently revealed BMW i8 Roadster going up against the brilliant McLaren 570S and last year’s winner – the Mazda MX-5 RF.
2017 winner: Mazda MX-5 RF
Coupe of the Year
Coupes tend to offer drivers a bit more fun behind the wheel than most other body styles, which is one of the things our judges will be looking for. The Audi A5 returns to defend its title, but the competition is strong with a mix of luxury, sports and performance coupes.
2017 winner: Audi A5
Hot Hatch of the Year
Hot hatches are loved by UK motorists, which could possibly explain why there is such an excellent range currently on offer. The Honda Civic Type R stole the crown last year, but with a new Ford Fiesta ST and stonking Hyundai i30 N now in the mix, this one is anything but certain.
2017 winner: Honda Civic Type R
Performance Car of the Year
Performance cars are all about the driving experience. Every car on our shortlist is ferociously fast, but they need to do more than that to win – sharp handling, incredible noise and, of course, fantastic looks are needed to seal to win.
2017 winner: Porsche 911 GT3
Luxury Car of the Year
The best luxury cars exude refined elegance. From the King of opulence, the Rolls-Royce Phantom, to the tech heavy Audi A8, all the cars on this list put a convincing case forward – including the previous winner, the Mercedes S-Class.
2017 winner: Mercedes S-Class
Electric Car of the Year
Electric cars are still growing in popularity, with more and more manufacturers offering fully battery-driven models. However, that doesn’t mean last year’s winner (the BMW i3) hasn’t made the cut in 2018. As you would expect, range and charge times are important factors here.
2017 winner: BMW i3
Hybrid Car of the Year
Hybrid cars are often thought of as the stepping stone to a full-fat all-electric car but the category has far more to offer than that and it’s growing with amazing speed. There’s a varied mix including SUVs, hatchbacks and even a saloon but the judges will want to see impressive economy figures from the winner.
Pick-up of the Year
Pick-up tracks have come a long way since the days of the high torque, low comfort utility vehicles that they once were. Now, you can get the same levels of refinement as you would in an family car. That said, our winner will also need impressive carrying and towing capabilities if it wants to be top of the pile.
2017 winner: Mitsubishi L200
Van of the Year
After winning in this category last year, the VW Crafter is back yet again. While the vans shortlisted here are of different sizes, they will all need to boast strong carrying capabilities and offer great value for money.
2017 winner: Volkswagen Crafter
Which car do you think will be named our 2018 Car of the Year? Let us know in the comments section below...