Category winner

Picking a champion from all our category winners was no mean feat. This was a bumper year for much-admired cars, including the great-value Skoda Superb and the capacious Volvo XC90, and who could overlook the wonderful Ford Fiesta ST for its cheap-as-chips fun factor?

In the end, though, one car combined all the qualities we were looking for in its class better than the others. That car is the Audi A3 Sportback. Audi’s family hatchback is great to drive and has a roomy, classy interior. It’s practical, reliable and comfortable, too. Buy our recommended petrol 1.5 TFSI in Sport trim at a year old and you’ll struggle to tell the difference between it and a new A3, despite the fact that there’s a price difference of more than £6000.

So, we’re happy to decorate a car we’ve championed since it took our overall Car of the Year Award when it was new in 2013. That it’s still winning trophies as it nears the end of its life just goes to show how exceptional it is.

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