Carbuyer Best Car Awards 2024 - the winners
With our awards as fiercely fought as ever, we run down the very best new cars you can buy, across every area of the market
When the time comes to decide the winners of the Carbuyer Best Car Awards, we normally have a good idea of what’s hot and what’s not months in advance.
This year was no different. We’ve seen some cracking contenders of late; big cars, little cars, petrol, hybrid and electric cars. So, if you’re in the market for something that’s premium, practical, or both, then you’re in the right place. Below, we run down the very greatest all-rounders – whatever you’re after, and whatever your budget.
To be considered for the 2024 Carbuyer Best Car Awards, the model in question has to beat all of its rivals in near-enough every key category – whether that’s performance, practicality, running costs or in-car tech. Above all else, our top picks need to represent exceptional value for money.
Oh, and if new’s not your thing, we’ll soon have a list of our favourite used cars. Keep an eye on Carbuyer.co.uk from Tuesday 17 October for those. But for now, sit down, grab a cuppa, and have a flick through the winners of this year’s Carbuyer Best Car Awards.
Best Car Awards 2024: the winners
Best small car: Skoda Fabia
“While small is the name of the game in this category, our winner is anything but small on the inside. In fact, anyone in the market for a conventional family car should look long and hard at the latest Skoda Fabia. Loads of space, plenty of kit, plus punchy and economical engines. A worthy winner.”
Read our in-depth review of the Skoda Fabia.
Best Small Family Car: Hyundai Kona
“With style as well as substance, the previous Hyundai Kona was great, but this one is even better. Spacious, refined and more upmarket, plus futuristic looks and a choice of petrol, hybrid, or electric power should you want it.”
Read our in-depth review of the Hyundai Kona.
Best Family Car: Dacia Jogger
“Massive inside and with seating for up to seven, the Dacia Jogger is an honest family car that’s more appealing than ever now it comes with the option of a hybrid powertrain and an automatic gearbox. Want one car to do it all? This could be it.”
Best Large Family Car: Skoda Kodiaq
“Despite the fact a new one has just been revealed, the outgoing Skoda Kodiaq remains our undisputed best large family car for 2024. With a super-spacious, beautifully ergonomic interior – no matter which of the seven seats you’re sitting in – little comes close for the cash.”
Read our in-depth review of the Skoda Kodiaq.
Best Estate Car: Skoda Octavia Estate
“If you want maximum load space but are put off by the size and shape of an SUV, then the Skoda Octavia is well worth a look. A vast boot, a smooth drive, strong engines and all the ‘Simply Clever’ features its maker is renowned for. The Octavia is our top estate car once again.
Read our in-depth review of the Skoda Octavia Estate.
Best Small Company Car: Cupra Born
“To many, a company car is a status symbol. Cool, quick, comfortable, and with a load of specs and batteries to choose from, the Cupra Born is our favourite small company car for the second year in a row.”
Read our in-depth review of the Cupra Born.
Best Company Car: Tesla Model Y
“Lower prices and therefore less tax, Tesla has taken the car market by storm. With incredible efficiency, fantastic tech and access to the all-conquering Supercharger network, there is no better company car right now than the Tesla Model Y.”
Read our in-depth review of the Tesla Model Y.
Best Sports Car: BMW 2 Series Coupe
“The BMW 2 Series Coupe remains a sharp-to-drive, usable all-rounder that’s as entertaining in entry-level 220i form as it is in its rocket-ship M240i guise. We stand by last year’s choice, reaffirming and re-announcing the 2 Series as our sports car champion.”
Read our in-depth review of the BMW 2 Series Coupe.
Best Hot Hatchback: Hyundai i20 N
“If you want something fast that can double as a family car, then you need to look at a hot hatchback. The Hyundai i20 N can’t be beaten; it’s an absolute riot to drive, yet it’ll fit into your life no questions asked. Practical, fast and affordable, it wants for nothing.”
Read our in-depth review of the Hyundai i20 N.
Best Hot SUV: Cupra Formentor
“If you want the firepower of a sports car, plus the usability of a crossover, then the Cupra Formentor is the best of its type. Negligible trade-off versus a traditional hot hatchback, plus that all-important SUV style.”
Read our in-depth review of the Cupra Formentor.
Best Convertible: MINI Convertible
“It’s part of a dying breed – at least for the time being – but the MINI Convertible mixes fun, frugality and a classless image to take our title once again.”
Read our in-depth review of the MINI Convertible.
Best Pickup: Ford Ranger
“As we hammered home in our video review a few months ago, the all-new Ford Ranger is more car-like than any previous version. As capable as ever, with a huge load bed and plenty of handy features, the fact it also comes with a whopping great touchscreen and a range of punchy engines is merely coincidental. It all adds up to an incredibly compelling package.”
Best Small Electric Car: BYD Dolphin
“Compact on the outside, capacious 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 Family Electric Car: MG4
“The base car’s a bargain and the hottest XPower model is a riot on the right road. Yet it’s the Long Range that’ll make more sense to most; almost 300 miles on a charge, plus strong cabin comfort and decent practicality – there really is no better family EV than the MG4.”
Best Large Electric Car: Volkswagen ID. Buzz
“Cool as you like, but with the goods to back up its striking looks. Throw everything you need in the back for a week away and you still have room for five up front – the Volkswagen ID. Buzz is a fantastic big EV. You want one, and so do we…”
Read our in-depth review of the Volkswagen ID. Buzz.
Best Hybrid: Honda Civic
“We’ve been saying it for a while: not everyone wants an electric car. Hybrids still make an awful lot of sense, and the latest Honda Civic is the best of the bunch. Practical, good to drive, and alarmingly fuel efficient even without a plug, this car nails its brief.”
Read our in-depth review of the Honda Civic.
Best Plug-in Hybrid: Mercedes C-Class
“Our best plug-in hybrid for the second year in a row, the Mercedes C 300 e gets a mammoth official range of more than 70 miles, and is as luxurious as you’d hope a mini-Mercedes might be – especially when running around on battery power.”
Read our in-depth review of the Mercedes C-Class.
Best Large Plug-in Hybrid: Lexus NX
“The Lexus NX is a great car with or without a plug, but the 450h+ raises the game with a long electric range, plus a quiet, comfortable cabin and fantastic in-car tech. Another repeat winner, the Lexus NX is our best large plug-in hybrid for 2024.”
Read our in-depth review of the Lexus NX.
Carbuyer Car of the Year: BYD Dolphin
“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. The BYD Dolphin isn’t a cheap car, it’s a great-value car. There’s a difference.”
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