Highly regarded British publication What Car? has named the Kia e-Niro electric vehicle (EV ) as its 2019 Car of the Year during its recent 42nd annual awards ceremony in London.
The Kia e-Niro beat 23 other category winners to take the overall title, becoming the first electric car to win the prestigious What Car? Car of the Year Award.
Victory for the e-Niro, which has a 'real range' of 253 miles (or 407 kilometres ), also represents the first time Kia has taken the top prize at the ceremony.
The success for an electric car comes at the beginning of a big year for the EV market, with several major manufacturers, including Audi, Honda and Mercedes-Benz, all planning to launch new electric models in 2019.
As well as taking home the main accolade at the 2019 What Car? Car of the Year Awards, the Kia e-Niro was also named Electric Car of the Year.
Hyundai joined Kia in being recognised for its work with alternative fuels, being named winner of the technology award for its progress with electric and fuel cell technology.
The 2019 What Car? Awards 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, Seat 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.
Reflecting the diverse range of cars available, the performance and sports car category was split for 2019, broadening the range of eligible vehicles. The new sports car award went to the Alpine A110, while the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio was named Performance Car of the Year.
Kia is the 20th car manufacturer to win an overall What Car? Car of the Year Award since its inception in 1978.
In addition to the winners chosen by the What Car?’s experts, its readers were once again given the chance to have their say on the car they are most looking forward to seeing launched in 2019, with the Honda Urban EV coming out on top.
WHAT CAR? CAR OF THE YEAR AWARDS 2019 WINNERS LIST
CITY CAR - WINNER - Kia Picanto
SMALL CAR - WINNER - Volkswagen Polo
FAMILY CAR - WINNER - Skoda Octavia
SMALL SUV - WINNER - Seat Arona
FAMILY SUV - WINNER - Volvo XC40
LARGE SUV - WINNER - Peugeot 5008
LUXURY SUV - WINNER - Audi Q7
MPV - WINNER - Citroën Berlingo
ESTATE CAR - WINNER - Skoda Superb Estate
HOT HATCH - WINNER - Honda Civic Type R
CONVERTIBLE - WINNER - Mercedes Benz S-Class Cabriolet
COUPÉ - WINNER - Audi A5 Coupe
SPORTS CAR - WINNER - Alpine A110
PERFORMANCE CAR WINNER - Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio
SPORTS SUV - WINNER - Cupra Ateca
ELECTRIC CAR - WINNER - Kia e-Niro
HYBRID - WINNER - Hyundai Ioniq
PLUG IN HYBRID - WINNER - Volvo XC90 T8
EXECUTIVE CAR - WINNER - BMW 3 Series
PICK UP - WINNER - Volkswagen Amarok
LUXURY CAR - WINNER - BMW 5 Series
READER AWARD - WINNER - Honda Urban EV
SAFETY AWARD - WINNER - Mercedes-Benz A-Class
TECHNOLOGY AWARD - WINNER - Hyundai
CAR OF THE YEAR - WINNER - Kia e-Niro.