What Car? Awards: Annual ceremony crowns new Audi A4 Car of the Year

Eight of 19 categories dominated by Audi, Skoda and VW

Sarah Bradley
Thursday 14 January 2016 14:45
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With wins in eight of 19 ‘best buy’ categories, including the headline Car of the Year Award for Audi’s all-new A4, the VW Group has dominated What Car?’s 2016 Car of the Year Awards.

Held in association with Warranty Direct, the What Car? Awards are now in their 39th year. They name the best models on sale in the UK based on the collective assessments of the title’s expert testers and on 16 core test criteria, each with multiple investigative layers. These include head-to-head testing both on-road and at What Car?’s specialist facilities, detailed ownership-cost research encompassing everything from purchase payments to tax implications, the negotiation of best prices through mystery shopping, and independent True MPG testing to determine real-world economy.

Recent dual NOx and CO2 emissions scandals affect none of the award winners, because all the models judged featured the latest-generation petrol, diesel and hybrid powerplants, which have recently been recertified.

“When we began the judging process, the VW emissions scandal was in full swing,” said What Car? editorial director Jim Holder. “But our guiding principle has always been to recommend the best cars on sale today. We’ve tested all the cars against all of their rivals with our unrivalled rigour and scrutiny, and on a level playing field.

“Regardless of the scandal, the VW Group still builds cars that rank among the very best on the road and, tested against our criteria covering all of the rational reasons that consumers choose one car over another, the results are clear to see.”

The Audi A4

VW Group brands have traditionally been strong What Car? Awards contenders. VW’s Golf has been declared COTY four times since the 1978 ceremony’s inception, more than any other model. And with six wins, the VW brand is the most successful in the history of the main prize.

Audi is the sole maker to win the What Car? Car of the Year award more than once in the past decade, the A4’s win this year being preceded by wins for the A1 in 2011 and the A3 in 2013.

Audi’s Head of Sales for Europe, Dominique Boesch, commented: “We at Audi feel enormously privileged to be recognised so conclusively with the coveted overall Car of the Year award, the strongest possible vote of confidence from What Car?

“For the A4 to receive such an award is enormously meaningful for us and is a recognition of the advanced engineering and design that the A4 epitomises, which make it such a popular choice for UK drivers.”

“All VW Group brands face a huge journey in rebuilding public confidence in their products,” concluded Holder. “We acknowledge that, and accept that some car buyers will simply look to our runner-up recommendations as a result. Car buyers will always have varying priorities, and we will always be there to help make their journey as easy and fruitful as possible.

“The VW Group has long led the way in R&D spend and, at What Car?, we believe that the result of that investment is the number of class-leading products they are now selling and which we celebrated tonight at the What Car? Awards.”

For all the What Car? Awards results, including all models that received recommendations, see here.

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