The Kia e-Niro electric vehicle (EV) has been voted the What Car? 2019 Car of the Year.

The success for an electric car could mark a tipping-point for the technology in 2019 with Audi, Honda and Mercedes-Benz, all planning to launch new electric models in 2019.

Electric vehicles were high on the agenda at the awards which saw the introduction of three new categories, recognising the best models in the Plug-in Hybrid, Sports SUV and Pick-up markets. These awards were won by the Volvo XC90 T8, Cupra Ateca and Volkswagen Amarok respectively.

Last year’s overall winner, the Volvo XC40, returned to be named Family SUV of the Year for a second year running, while the Skoda Octavia continued its run of success in the Family car category, and the Peugeot 5008 reclaimed the crown for the best Large SUV.

Kia also won the City Car category with the Kia Picanto taking the prize for the second year running.

What Car? editor Steve Huntingford said: “The demand for electric cars has grown exponentially in recent years, and 2019 is shaping up to be the biggest year yet.

“Most of the leading manufacturers have plans for new EVs, and the fact that the Kia e-Niro was able to beat all its petrol and diesel rivals to win the 2019 What Car? Car of the Year Award shows how far this technology has developed.
“The e-Niro stood out because it addresses the key issues of cost and range that have traditionally prevented many motorists from taking the plunge into EV ownership. Here is a spacious and practical family SUV that demands very few compromises.”

2019 Award Winners:

• CITY CAR – Kia Picanto
• SMALL CAR – Volkswagen Polo
• FAMILY CAR – Skoda Octavia
• SMALL SUV – Seat Arona
• FAMILY SUV – Volvo XC40
• LARGE SUV – Peugeot 5008
• LUXURY SUV – Audi Q7
• MPV – Citroën Berlingo
• ESTATE CAR – Skoda Superb Estate
• HOT HATCH – Honda Civic Type R
• CONVERTIBLE – Mercedes Benz S-Class Cabriolet
• COUPÉ – Audi A5 Coupe
• SPORTS CAR – Alpine A110
• PERFORMANCE CAR– Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio
• SPORTS SUV – Cupra Ateca
• ELECTRIC CAR – Kia e-Niro
• HYBRID – Hyundai Ioniq
• PLUG IN HYBRID – Volvo XC90 T8
• PICK UP – Volkswagen Amarok
• LUXURY CAR – BMW 5 Series
• READER AWARD – Honda Urban EV
• SAFETY AWARD – Mercedes-Benz A-Class
• CAR OF THE YEAR – Kia e-Niro