New Car Awards 2018 shortlist announced

On 3 July, all eyes will be on the Auto Express New Car Awards 2018, as we reveal the models that should be on any buyer’s radar. The awards celebrate the best new cars on sale, from city cars to performance models, petrol, diesel, hybrid and electric alike. They’re voted for by the expert reviewers at Auto Express, and every single model is analysed according to specific criteria, with only the very best cars making the winners’ list. 

So which cars are in the running for a New Car Awards category win? This year, we’ve announced our shortlist for all the main categories to whet your appetite for the most coveted awards in motoring. The categories cover the complete automotive spectrum and making the six-car shortlist for one of the 23 awards that have one is an achievement in itself. 

Scroll down the page to see all the shortlisted cars and give us your thoughts on our choices in the comments section below or on social media using the #AEAwards tag...

City Car of the Year

Last year’s winner, the Volkswagen up!, is yet again vying for the crown of best city car. With the funky Suzuki Ignis and cheaper Skoda Citigo both hot its heels, the judges will be looking for innovative features and excellent packaging to help decide on a winner.

Fiat 500
Hyundai i10
Kia Picanto
Skoda Citigo
Suzuki Ignis
Volkswagen up!

City car of the Year 2017 - Volkswagen up!

 2017 winner: Volkswagen up!

Supermini of the Year

The supermini sector is a fiercely competitive one as topping this class is a passport to big sales. The Ford Fiesta has been on top of the best-selling cars charts in the UK for as long as most people care to remember but can it be beaten here? Refinement, technology and running costs will all be key in deciding a winner.

Citroen C3
Ford Fiesta
MINI 5dr
Nissan Micra
SEAT Ibiza
Volkswagen Polo 

Supermini of the Year 2017 - SEAT Ibiza

2017 winner: SEAT Ibiza

Convertible of the Year

In 2017, the Mercedes C-Class cabriolet took home to the title of best convertible, but this year it is nowhere to be seen. Build quality and driving dynamics are key in this market, but equally so, refinement and comfort are major factors that will be considered.

Aston Martin DB11 Volante
Audi A3 Cabriolet
Audi A5 Cabriolet
BMW 2 Series Convertible
Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet
MINI Convertible

Convertible of the Year 2017 - Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet

2017 winner: Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet

Compact Family Car of the Year

All the cars on this list are household names, and all are commonplace on UK roads. Previous compact family car winners include the Volkswagen Golf and Vauxhall Astra – both of which are in with a shout of winning this year.

Honda Civic
Mercedes A-Class
Renault Megane
Skoda Octavia
Vauxhall Astra
Volkswagen Golf

Compact Family Car of the Year 2017 - Volkswagen Golf

2017 winner: Volkswagen Golf

Family Car of the Year

Family cars live hard lives, which is why our judges will be looking for a car that offers a high quality, well designed interior (it needs to be able to handle everything from crayon on the seats to buggies in the boot and not break a sweat). Low hassle, low cost motoring is also a must.

Hyundai Ioniq
Mazda 6
Skoda Superb
Toyota Prius
Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport
Volkswagen Passat 

Family Car of the Year - Skoda Superb

2017 winner: Skoda Superb

Compact Executive Car of the Year

The new kid on the block, the Kia Stinger, will be hoping to topple the best Europe has to offer in the compact executive car class. Breadth of talent is critical so offering good tech, a satisfying driving experience and comfort are necessities in this category.

Alfa Romeo Giulia
Audi A4
BMW 3 Series
Jaguar XE
Kia Stinger
Mercedes C-Class

Compact Executive Car of the Year 2017 - Jaguar XE

2017 winner: Jaguar XE

Executive Car of the Year

The executive car field might be limited in size compared to some but with strong contenders from Volvo, Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Jaguar and Tesla, it is going to be extremely tough to pick a winner. Refinement, quality and a composed yet engaging driving experience are on the wishlist.

Audi A7
BMW 5 Series
Jaguar XF
Mercedes E-Class
Tesla Model S
Volvo S90

Executive Car of the Year 2017 - BMW 5 Series

2017 winner: BMW 5 Series

Estate Car of the Year

Estate cars are all about everyday practicality – largely thanks to boot capacities that can swallow a small elephant. This year sees two contenders from Skoda, but also the new and hugely popular Volvo V60. Which will win?

BMW 5 Series Touring
Skoda Octavia Estate
Skoda Superb Estate
Subaru Outback
Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer
Volvo V60

Estate Car of the Year - Skoda Octavia Estate

2017 winner: Skoda Octavia Estate

Small SUV of the Year

The first of our SUV-specific categories, the best small SUVs are finding homes with customers who would previously have bought a small hatchback or supermini. Off-road capabilities are not really important in this class but sharp looks and competitive equipment levels are both essential.

Citroen C3 Aircross
Dacia Duster
Hyundai Kona
Mazda CX-3
SEAT Arona
Volkswagen T-Roc

Small SUV of the Year 2017 - Citroen C4 Cactus

2017 winner: Citroen C4 Cactus

Mid-size SUV of the Year

The Peugeot 3008 returns again after winning last year, but with the Skoda Karoq, Mazda CX-5 and others snapping at its heels, the judges will have a tough decision on their hands. Comfort, practicality and equipment are key here, but styling also plays a big role.

Mazda CX-5
Peugeot 3008
SEAT Ateca
Skoda Karoq
Toyota C-HR
Vauxhall Grandland X 

Mid-size SUV of the Year 2017 - Peugeot 3008

2017 winner: Peugeot 3008

Large SUV of the Year

Large SUVs are getting further and further away from their hardcore 4x4 roots, meaning off-road ability is less of a priority than infotainment and innovative interior features. That said, a mix of capabilities both on the Tarmac and off it is desirable.

Kia Sorento
Peugeot 5008
Renault Koleos
Skoda Kodiaq
SsangYong Rexton
Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace 

Large SUV of the Year 2017 - Skoda Kodiaq

2017 winner: Skoda Kodiaq

Small Premium SUV of the Year

The small premium SUV sector is a relatively new one, but it’s expanding quickly. Volvo appears to be on an incredible run of form recently, but the XC40 will have to trump the likes of the MINI Countryman, Jaguar E-Pace and Audi Q2 if it wants to emerge victorious.

Audi Q2
DS 7 Crossback
Jaguar E-Pace
MINI Countryman
Volvo XC40 

Mid-size Premium SUV of the Year

The mid-sized premium SUV shortlist is largely made up of the big brothers and sisters of the small premium SUV contenders. The exceptions being the Mercedes GLC and the Alfa Romeo Stelvio. With judges looking for style, quality and high-end technology, FCA’s first SUV could be set to topple the favourites.

Alfa Romeo Stelvio
Audi Q5
Jaguar F-Pace
Mercedes GLC
Volvo XC60

Premium SUV of the Year 2017 - Volvo XC60

2017 winner: Volvo XC60

Large Premium SUV of the Year

Large premium SUVs have been becoming ever more opulent lately – the recently revealed £230,000 Rolls-Royce Cullinan being a case in point. The cars on our list more than justify their places thanks to exceptional performance across a range of areas, particularly interior quality.

Bentley Bentayga
Land Rover Discovery
Porsche Cayenne
Range Rover
Volkswagen Touareg
Volvo XC90

Large Premium SUV of the Year 2017 - Land Rover Discovery

2017 winner: Land Rover Discovery

MPV of the Year

Even though the popularity of MPVs seems to be coming under threat from the growth of SUVs, the models on offer are great options for families. Last year’s winner, the Citroen C4 Picasso, is once again in the mix but under the new name C4 SpaceTourer. Will have enough to fend off the Mercedes V-Class, the SUV-inspired Renault Grand Scenic and the rest?

BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer
Citroen C4 SpaceTourer
Mercedes V-Class
Renault Grand Scenic
SEAT Alhambra
Volkswagen Touran

MPV of the Year 2017 - Citroen Grand C4 Picasso

2017 winner: Citroen Grand C4 Picasso

Roadster of the Year

Despite a regular dearth of sunshine, roadsters remain popular in the UK. The spread of contenders is huge, with the recently revealed BMW i8 Roadster going up against the brilliant McLaren 570S and last year’s winner – the Mazda MX-5 RF.

Audi TT Roadster
BMW i8 Roadster
Fiat 124 Spider
McLaren 570S Spider
Mazda MX-5 RF
Porsche 718 Boxster

Roadster of the Year 2017 - Mazda MX-5 RF

2017 winner: Mazda MX-5 RF

Coupe of the Year

Coupes tend to offer drivers a bit more fun behind the wheel than most other body styles, which is one of the things our judges will be looking for. The Audi A5 returns to defend its title, but the competition is strong with a mix of luxury, sports and performance coupes.

Alpine A110
Audi A5
Audi TT
Lexus LC
Mercedes S-Class Coupe
Porsche 718 Cayman

Coupe of the Year 2017 - Audi A5 Coupe

2017 winner: Audi A5

Hot Hatch of the Year

Hot hatches are loved by UK motorists, which could possibly explain why there is such an excellent range currently on offer. The Honda Civic Type R stole the crown last year, but with a new Ford Fiesta ST and stonking Hyundai i30 N now in the mix, this one is anything but certain.

Audi RS 3 Sportback
Ford Fiesta ST
Honda Civic Type R
Hyundai i30 N
Peugeot 208 GTi
Volkswagen Golf GTI

Hot Hatch of the Year 2017 - Honda Civic Type R

2017 winner: Honda Civic Type R

Performance Car of the Year

Performance cars are all about the driving experience. Every car on our shortlist is ferociously fast, but they need to do more than that to win – sharp handling, incredible noise and, of course, fantastic looks are needed to seal to win.

Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio
Aston Martin Vantage
Ferrari 812 Superfast
McLaren 720S
Porsche 911 GT3 

Performance Car of the Year 2017 - Porsche 911 GT3

2017 winner: Porsche 911 GT3

Luxury Car of the Year

The best luxury cars exude refined elegance. From the King of opulence, the Rolls-Royce Phantom, to the tech heavy Audi A8, all the cars on this list put a convincing case forward – including the previous winner, the Mercedes S-Class.  

Audi A8
Bentley Continental GT
Lexus LS
Mercedes S-Class
Porsche Panamera
Rolls-Royce Phantom 

Luxury Car of the Year 2017 - Mercedes S-Class

2017 winner: Mercedes S-Class

Electric Car of the Year

Electric cars are still growing in popularity, with more and more manufacturers offering fully battery-driven models. However, that doesn’t mean last year’s winner (the BMW i3) hasn’t made the cut in 2018. As you would expect, range and charge times are important factors here.

BMW i3
Hyundai Kona Electric
Jaguar I-Pace
Nissan Leaf
Tesla Model S
Volkswagen e-Golf

Electric Car of the Year 2017 - BMW i3

2017 winner: BMW i3

Hybrid Car of the Year

Hybrid cars are often thought of as the stepping stone to a full-fat all-electric car but the category has far more to offer than that and it’s growing with amazing speed. There’s a varied mix including SUVs, hatchbacks and even a saloon but the judges will want to see impressive economy figures from the winner.

BMW 530e
Hyundai Ioniq Plug-In
MINI Countryman S E
Toyota C-HR Hybrid
Toyota Prius
Volvo XC60 T8 Twin Engine

Pick-up of the Year

Pick-up tracks have come a long way since the days of the high torque, low comfort utility vehicles that they once were. Now, you can get the same levels of refinement as you would in an family car. That said, our winner will also need impressive carrying and towing capabilities if it wants to be top of the pile.

Ford Ranger
Mercedes X-Class
Mitsubishi L200
Nissan Navara
SsangYong Musso
Volkswagen Amarok

Pick-up of the Year 2017 - Mitsubishi L200

2017 winner: Mitsubishi L200

Van of the Year

After winning in this category last year, the VW Crafter is back yet again. While the vans shortlisted here are of different sizes, they will all need to boast strong carrying capabilities and offer great value for money.

Citroen Dispatch
Ford Transit Custom
Mercedes Sprinter
Renault Trafic
Vauxhall Vivaro
Volkswagen Crafter

Van of the Year 2017 - Volkswagen Crafter

2017 winner: Volkswagen Crafter

Which car do you think will be named our 2018 Car of the Year? Let us know in the comments section below...