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Five EVs in UKCotY shortlist. Image by UK Car of the Year.

Five EVs in UKCotY shortlist
UK Car of the Year 2024 category winners are revealed, as 30 motoring journo judges deliberate on a winner.
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2024-03-08: Kia EV9 wins UK Car of the Year 2024

What's all this about?

It's time for the UK Car of the Year (UKCotY) annual award to be handed out once more, and the team behind the prestigious process has revealed the shortlist of seven category winners which will be competing for the overall gong.

OK, what are our contenders?

There's a strong, strong electric vehicle (EV) bent to the shortlist this year, which is understandable as we move ever closer to the phasing out of internal combustion engines (ICE). Also, four out of the last five overall UKCotY winners have been EVs, so it's continuing a noble zero-emissions trend.

Anyway, Fisker picked up its first-ever UKCotY award as its Ocean was named the best Medium Crossover. Meanwhile, Volvo's EX30 - another fresh electric model - took the Small Crossover prize, with the Kia EV9 landing the best Large Crossover award. Elsewhere, BMW's i5 scooped the honours in the Executive Car category, while Hyundai's Ioniq 6 upheld its manufacturer's tradition (the Ioniq 5 was overall UKCotY in 2022) by taking the Family Car prize.

Right, so what were the two non-EVs that won honours?

They were the updated Renault Clio, which was voted the top Small Car, and the utterly blinding Honda Civic Type R, which walked away with the Performance Car crown. One of these seven will, in a week's time, be announced as the 2024 UKCotY overall champ.

Who's voting for these cars?

It's the great and the good of the UK motoring journalism industry, 30 of the finest minds and most astute critics in the business, culled from a wide variety of outlets aimed at different readerships and also based right across the country. Well... we say 30 of the finest minds; it's actually 29 superstars, and then some random bloke who may or may not be writing this news story. But we couldn't possibly say.

I see. And what will yo... I mean, what will the judges pick as the overall winner?

Difficult to predict. As we've already mentioned, EVs are pretty much dominating the past five years of trophies. Alongside the Ioniq 5's victory in 2022, the reigning UKCotY from 2023 is the MG 4, while the Jaguar I-Pace (2019) and Tesla Model 3 (2020) also took home the gong a little further back in time. However, breaking this lot up was the sublime Toyota GR Yaris in 2021, so there's a chance the Civic Type R could steal up on the rails and win what might potentially be, thinking about it, one last UKCotY title for something powered by ICE.

I've got a suspicion I know what your favourite is. How long has the UKCotY award been running?

This is actually the tenth anniversary of the programme, as the first title was handed out in 2014 toooo... yep, an EV: BMW's brilliant i3. Other winners have been the BMW i8 (2015), the Mazda MX-5 (2016), the Mercedes-Benz E-Class (2017) and the Volvo XC60 (2018), so it remains to be seen what the 30 judges pick as their favourite this year - as we say, the victor of UKCotY 2024 will be announced on March 8.

Matt Robinson - 1 Mar 2024

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