The new BMW 5 Series has been announced as the Car of the Year for 2017 at the 40th annual What Car? Awards, held in London.
The 5 Series fended off stiff competition from Mercedes-Benz and Rolls-Royce to win the Luxury Car of the Year Award, before its blend of talents resulted in it beating all the other category winners to be named the best new car of the past 12 months.
The latest 5 Series is even more efficient than its predecessor and sets the class standard for handling and refinement, while its interior provides technology and a sense of luxury usually reserved for far more expensive machinery.
Other newcomers also made a big impression on the judges, particularly in the burgeoning SUV sector. The new Seat Ateca took the Small SUV of the Year prize and the Skoda Kodiaq won Large SUV of the Year.
BMW Brand senior vice-president Hildegard Wortmann collected the Car of the Year Award following a significant 12 months for the Haymarket automotive portfolio. What Car? has launched a new website and online car buying service, while last summer its sister title, Autocar, named the top 100 women in the British automotive industry for the first time.
Wortmann commented: “For the BMW 5 Series to win the prestigious ‘Car of the Year’ award is an honour and testament to the hard work that goes into producing one of BMW’s core models.
“The BMW 5 Series is a brand-shaping saloon and in times of rapid change within the automotive industry we believe the seventh generation model points the way into the future. It is a truly outstanding car and I am very grateful to What Car? for this great recognition.”
What Car? editor Steve Huntingford said: “The BMW 5 Series is no stranger to success at the What Car? Awards; it’s something of a dynasty that has always stood for excellence, but the latest model moves things on again in all the areas that matter most to buyers.
“While the 5 Series is a tour de force, though, the list of category winners demonstrates that an outstanding car has never been more accessible. For those looking to change their car in 2017, they need look no further than the What Car? Car of the Year winners.”
Championing manufacturers who have made progress in safety and technology, What Car? and Thatcham Research presented the Safety Award to the Toyota Prius, while the Peugeot 3008 was awarded the Technology prize, sponsored by Nexcel, for its i-Cockpit interior layout.
Putting the vote to What Car? readers, the Honda Civic Type R was named the most exciting car due to be launched in 2017 in the Reader Award category. The latest version of this legendary hot hatch will be made in Britain when it arrives in the latter half of the year and beat the Jaguar I-Pace and Lexus LC 500 into second and third place respectively in the poll.
WHAT CAR? CAR OF THE YEAR AWARDS 2017 WINNERS
CITY CAR: Hyundai i10 1.2 Premium SE
SMALL CAR: Skoda Fabia 1.2 TSI 90 SE
FAMILY CAR: Audi A3 Sportback 1.4 TFSI 150 Sport
HOT HATCH: Ford Fiesta ST-2 3dr
SMALL SUV: Seat Ateca 1.4 EcoTSI 150 SE
LARGE SUV: Skoda Kodiaq 2.0 TDI 150 4×4 SE 7st
LUXURY SUV: Audi Q7 3.0 TDI 272 quattro SE
MPV: Volkswagen Touran 1.6 TDI 115 SE
ESTATE CAR: Skoda Superb Estate 2.0 TDI 150 SE Technology
ELECTRIC CAR: Renault Zoe Q90 Z.E. 40 Dynamique Nav
EXECUTIVE CAR: Audi A4 3.0 TDI 218 Sport
LUXURY CAR: BMW 5 Series 520d SE
CONVERTIBLE: Mazda MX-5 2.0 SE-L Nav
COUPE: Audi TT 1.8 TFSI Sport
SPORTS CAR: Porsche 718 Cayman 2.0
READER AWARD: Honda Civic Type R
SAFETY AWARD: Toyota Prius
TECHNOLOGY AWARD: Peugeot 3008 i-Cockpit
CAR OF THE YEAR: BMW 5 Series 520d SE