Nissan Qashqai named What Car? car of the year for 2014

Nissan Qashqai wins top car award

A British-built sports utility vehicle (SUV) has taken a prestigious car of the year award.

The Nissan Qashqai, built at Sunderland, has been named What Car? car of the year for 2014.
The Qashqai also took the best small SUV award, with the results being announced at a ceremony in London sponsored by Warranty Direct.

What Car? editor-in-chief Chas Hallett said: "The all-new Nissan Qashqai brings excellence and polish to a class of cars that is brimming with talent and tempting buys. The Qashqai delivers low costs and first-class levels of comfort, refinement, space and safety.

"Nissan has thought of every last detail, and this complete approach is why the Qashqai is What Car?'s car of the year. The Nissan team should be justifiably proud of their achievement."

Nissan Motor GB managing director Jim Wright said: "We're thrilled. A huge amount of effort has gone into the design and engineering of the new car, and we're all extremely excited about creating the template for the second-generation crossover."

The Qashqai was the sixth best-selling car in the UK in 2013, with sales passing 50,000.

In the What Car? awards BMW collected two trophies. Its 435i won best coupe and the new i3 was named best green car. Audi also had a double victory, with the A3 Saloon winning the best executive car and the A3 Cabriolet the best open-top car.

Two awards were presented to Ford for the Fiesta, with the 1.0T 100 Ecoboost Zetec 5dr being declared the best small car and the ST-2 the best hot hatch.

Sports car of the year went to the Porsche Boxster 2.7, while the MPV (multi-purpose vehicle) award went to the Citroen Grand C4 Picasso.

The British-built Range Rover Sport was named best large SUV and the luxury car award went to Mercedes-Benz for the S350 Bluetec L SE Line.

The Skoda Octavia was given the family car award and the estate car trophy went to Volkswagen for the Golf Estate 1.6 TDI SE Bluemotion Tech.

The all-new Nissan X-Trail, which goes on sale this summer, was awarded the most exciting car 2014 by What Car? readers.

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The most economical cars to run
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Nissan Qashqai named What Car? car of the year for 2014

Official mpg: 57.6mpg
True mpg: 45.4mpg

The third generation Seat Leon is the most economical car to run according to the WhatCar? True mpg test.

It's been a good year for the Spanish manufacturer as the Leon also won the Auto Express New Car Award 2013 after years of missing out to sister brands Volkswagon and Skoda.

The 1.2 TSI 105 has the smallest engine of the top six cars in the WhatCar? lineup, so unsurprisingly is the most efficient of the group.

As well as being efficient it's a great family car. You get plenty of cabin space and an impressive boot size of 380 litres - 65 litres more than in a Ford Focus!

The cheapest in the range is the 1.2 S-trim, but even as a starter model you get a decent standard of equipment with things like air-conditioning, Bluetooth, 5" colour multimedia screen and tyre-pressure monitoring included.

You can buy a new Seat Leon 1.2 TSI 105 S 5-door from £15,850.

Official mpg: 55.4mpg
True mpg: 42.8mpg

The stylish Mazda 3 is second on the list of the most economical family cars to run. And like the Seat you can get a starter model relatively cheaply, but with a generous helping of the best mod cons.

The entry-level SE models come with alloy wheels, Bluetooth and air-conditioning as standard. Plus, in terms of size, the 3 is almost on par with the Seat Leon.

WhatCar? says it's a fun car to drive and although it misses out on the top spot for fuel economy, it's not far off so worth a look.

The 2.0 Skyactiv-G 120 5-door is available from £16,995.

Official mpg: 54.3mpg
True mpg: 42.5mpg

The Audi A3 was named Car of the Year 2013 by WhatCar?, but only manages third place on its list of the most economical family cars to run.

It's not the cheapest motor, but the A3 offers plenty of space with a boot size of 380 litres on the Sportback. That's perfect for a family with a lot of gear to transport.

WhatCar? says it should definitely make the shortlist if you are looking for a decent sized hatchback.

The Audi A3 Sportback 1.4 TFSI 122 5-door can be purchased from £20,200

Official mpg: 52.3mpg
True mpg: 42.1mpg

The Kia Ceed provides an exceptional amount of space (1,318 litres with the seats down) and comfortably transports five adults.

Its large 1.6 engine can almost match the economy of rivals, but WhatCar? says the petrol version of this car is a disappointment compared to the diesel in terms of driver enjoyment.

The Kia Ceed is available in four trim levels. Top level Ceed '4' gets you parallel park assist system (PPAS) which automatically parks your car! But your basic trim '2' isn't exactly rubbish with reverse parking sensors included.

The Kia Ceed '2' 1.6 GDi 133 5-door is available from £16,195 and comes with the Kia seven-year warranty.

Official mpg: 51.4mpg
True mpg: 41.5mpg

The new A-Class looks pretty great with its sharp exterior and smart cabin, and the A180 has attracted high praise from the likes of Top Gear magazine who claim it's enough to rival the BMW1-Series and the Audi A3.

But WhatCar? says that even though safety and equipment levels are up there with the best (you get alloy wheels, Bluetooth and air-conditioning as standard with every model) it's a disappointment to drive.

If you want to be the judge, the A180 is the cheapest Benz you can buy. You can get the A180 BlueEfficiency 122 five-door from £20,370.

Official mpg: 53.3mpg
True mpg: 40.6mpg

Last but not least is the Skoda Octavia.

It's not the most stylish motor of the lineup but WhatCar? reports that the petrol engines are smooth and quiet, while the cabin is a comfortable and spacious place to sit - six-foot adults can sit comfoirtably behind similar-sized adults at the front with leg-room to spare!

If you fancy it the 1.4 TSI 140 is available from £18,390.

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