BYD Dolphin crowned 2024 Carbuyer Car of the Year

Brand-new electric car has been awarded the title of 2024 Car of the Year at the annual Carbuyer Best Car Awards

The BYD Dolphin electric supermini has been named as the Carbuyer Car of the Year at the annual Carbuyer Best Car Awards. It also took the prize for Best Small Electric Car, making it a brace of accolades for the Chinese brand’s latest offering.

Building on the momentum started by the company’s Atto 3 small SUV and the Seal electric saloon, the Dolphin is BYD’s most compelling car yet, primarily due to the stunning value it delivers. The Carbuyer judges said: “Compact on the outside, spacious on the inside, the BYD Dolphin is efficient, good to drive, loaded with tech and, with the bigger of the two batteries, comes with a sensible real-world range. It might not be pocket change, but the Dolphin costs a good chunk less than its mainstream rivals.”

 Best Small Electric Car: BYD DolphinCarbuyer Best Car Awards 2024 - the winners

“It really is quite extraordinary how a brand you’ve never heard of – albeit one that sells millions of cars in its home market – can so drastically undercut the competition and still offer such a compelling package,” they said. “The BYD Dolphin isn’t a cheap car, it’s a great-value car. There’s a difference.”

Value always plays a big part in the decision-making process for every Carbuyer award, and that’s why a brand famous for its value – Skoda – walked away with three of our gongs.

The Fabia supermini took the award for the Best Small Car, while the Best Estate Car trophy went to the Octavia. And despite the fact that it’ll shortly be replaced by a new model, the current Skoda Kodiaq took the accolade for our Best Large Family Car.

Hyundai was another manufacturer that picked up multiple awards. The brand-new Kona SUV was voted by our judges as the Best Small Family Car, while the i20N took the plaudits as our Best Hot Hatchback, a title it retains from last year’s awards.

It was also good news for Cupra, as two of the company’s cars managed to retain their titles from 2023: the Born hatchback being voted as the Best Small Company Car, and the Formentor once again taking the prize for Best Hot SUV. The feat of retaining two previous titles was one matched by BMW: the BMW 2 Series Coupe kept its crown as the Best Sports Car, while the prize for Best Convertible was once again bagged by the MINI Convertible.

With the current industry-wide shift towards electric motoring, it’s perhaps no surprise that our main Car of the Year prize was taken by an EV. But there was also recognition for two more electric cars: the MG4 was named as the Best Family Electric Car, and the Volkswagen ID. Buzz went home with the Best Large Electric Car category.

The Carbuyer website has continued to go from strength to strength in over the last 12 months, setting the online benchmark for easy-to-understand reviews, news, tips and advice. Still the only automotive website approved by the Plain English Campaign, Carbuyer.co.uk gets hundreds of thousands of visits from UK car buyers every month.

You can see a full list of the winners here, along with our annual Carbuyer Best Cars video. And awards season isn’t over yet: we’ll be announcing our Used Car winners – the very best-second-hand car buys – on 17 October

Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

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