Nissan Ariya EV crowned ‘Car of the Year 2022’

Gareth Herincx

6 hours ago
Auto News

Nissan Ariya

Nissan has scooped the prestigious Auto Express Car of the Year 2022 with its all-new pure electric Ariya.

British engineers at Nissan’s European technical team in Cranfield have played a big role in the development of the new Ariya, resulting in what judges describe as “a comfortable ride and superb refinement with impressive agility for a big car”.

The Ariya is Nissan’s second mass-market EV following its pioneering Leaf, arguably the EV that first made electric driving affordable.

The annual Auto Express Awards are “the most customer-focused car awards in the UK”, recommending models across categories that are set, like the judging criteria, following research into the wants and needs of real UK buyers.

As well as specific EV category wins, there was success for electric cars in traditional car categories, too. The new all-electric Fiat 500 scooped the best City Car trophy and the Renault Megane E-Tech Electric was named Best Company Car.

“The new Nissan Ariya is quite simply a fantastic new car – it just so happens to be an EV, too,” said Steve Fowler, Editor-in-Chief of Auto Express.

“It’s so cleverly thought through, buyers will find it really easy and enjoyable to live with, while it drives superbly, looks great and is the most premium-feeling Nissan we’ve ever seen.”

Auto Express Car of the Year 2022 winners

  • City Car of the Year – Fiat 500
  • Supermini of the Year – Renault Clio
  • Family Car of the Year – Dacia Jogger
  • Estate Car of the Year – Skoda Octavia Estate
  • Small Company Car of the Year – Renault Mégane E-Tech Electric
  • Mid-size Company Car of the Year – Nissan Ariya
  • Large Company Car of the Year – BMW 5 Series
  • Small SUV of the Year – Kia Niro
  • Mid-size SUV of the Year – Hyundai Tucson
  • Large SUV of the Year – Skoda Kodiaq
  • Small Premium SUV of the Year – Mercedes-Benz GLA
  • Mid-size Premium SUV of the Year – Lexus NX
  • Large Premium SUV of the Year – Land Rover Defender
  • Luxury Car of the Year – Range Rover
  • Hot Hatch of the Year – Hyundai i20 N
  • Coupé of the Year – BMW 2 Series
  • Convertible of the Year – MINI Convertible
  • Performance Car of the Year – Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS
  • Affordable Electric Car of the Year – MG ZS EV
  • Premium Electric Car of the Year – BMW i4
  • Affordable Hybrid Car of the Year – Toyota Yaris
  • Premium Hybrid Car of the Year – Mercedes-Benz C 300 e
  • Pick-up of the Year – Ford Ranger
  • Electric Van of the Year – Ford E-Transit
  • Van of the Year – Fiat Ducato
  • Technology Award – Mercedes-Benz VISION EQXX
  • Auto Express New Car of the Year – Nissan Ariya

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Max Verstappen launches limited edition Honda e

Home / Auto News / Max Verstappen launches limited edition Honda e

Gareth Herincx

2 days ago
Auto News

Red Bull's Max Verstappen and the Honda e Limited Edition

Red Bull F1 racing driver Max Verstappen has taken an all-new special edition Honda e for a test drive.

The reigning World Drivers’ Champion was impressed with the car’s zero emissions performance and eye-catching style as he manoeuvred through the tight and twisty streets of the medieval village of Dozza, just south of Bologna.

“The Honda e Limited Edition is simply lovely,” said Max. “It has funky looks, a compact design and is fun to drive. It’s a great electric urban vehicle.”

Red Bull's Max Verstappen and the Honda e Limited Edition

On sale from £38,120, the Honda e Limited Edition is based on the top spec ‘Advance’ grade. Restricted to only 50 cars across Europe, it is exclusively finished in Premium Crystal Red and unique 17-inch black alloys.

Honda’s 100% electric city car has received critical acclaim worldwide and has been praised for its innovative design and progressive technology.

It has won numerous awards, including World Urban Car of The Year and the Red Dot Design Awards.

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Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who’s worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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Fiat 500 Electric review

Fiat 500 Electric

It’s safe to say that the all-new, all-electric Fiat 500 is one of the cutest and charming EVs on the market.

Fighting it out with the likes of the Honda E and MINI Electric in the zero emissions city car category, it’s available as a hatchback or convertible and is competitively priced from £20,995 to £30,995 (after the £2,500 UK Government grant).

The entry-level model comes with a small 24kW battery and a “city range” of up to 115 miles, while other versions get the bigger 42kW “long range” battery pack, capable of up to 199 miles.

Fiat 500 Electric

Just as importantly, the 42kW Fiat 500 has significantly more range than its top rivals, yet is very comparable in price (from £25,995).

The 500’s grown up in more ways than one too, because not only is it packed with the latest tech, it’s also slightly bigger, while its retro cool design stays true to the first two generations of this iconic people’s car.

The electric motor paired with the 42kWh battery generates 118hp (95hp for the smaller 24kW) and acceleration is 0-62mph in nine seconds (9.5sec for the 24kW).

Fiat 500 Electric

The new 500 isn’t as dinky as it was, growing in every direction, but it’s still unmistakeably a ‘cinquecento’ with some clever modern touches inside and out.

Perhaps the biggest change is inside the cabin where it’s more spacious up front, along with a minimalist look. There a large digital display ahead of the driver, while the centre console is dominated by a 10.25-inch touchscreen.

There’s a little more space in the back, but it’s still only really adequate for small people, while the boot remains at 185 litres (expanding to 550 litres with the rear seats folded).

Fiat 500 Electric

Safety also takes a leap forward, with autonomous emergency braking, lane keeping and traffic sign recognition all standard, with goodies such as blind-spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control available higher up the range.

The 500’s cabin is a comfy place to be with a fairly high driving position. Personally, I’d prefer a lower option, but I guess there’s a battery pack below which scuppers that notion. My only other gripe was the lack of a place to comfortably rest my largely redundant left foot.

On the road, it’s smooth and refined, like most electric cars, and you can easily choose the level of braking regeneration (charging on the move) you prefer.

Fiat 500 Electric

Accelerating from a standing start is brisk rather than supercar fast, but still enough to win the traffic light grand prix with ease.

The Fiat 500 EV is perfect for urban driving and holds up well on faster, twisty roads too, but it hasn’t got the go-kart handling of a MINI Electric, for instance.

That extra height means it not quite as composed in more challenging corners, but it’s still a fun and easy car to drive overall.

Fiat 500 Electric

As you’d expect in a city car, the steering is light and there’s a tight turning circle, though visibility isn’t best in class. Thankfully, rear parking sensors are standard, while top trims get a rear-view camera and offer a bird’s eye view of the car manoeuvring.

You can try various drive modes, but ultimately your choice will depend on the strength of your inner Scrooge and whether squeezing out as many miles as possible is more important than driving dynamics. At the end of the day, there is a happy medium.

Fiat 500 Electric

Finally, the Fiat 500 EV can be charged from 0-80% in a very respectable 45 minutes using a 50kW fast charger, or overnight at home.

Verdict: The iconic Fiat 500 has been reimagined for the zero emissions age. Not only does it ooze kerb appeal, but it delivers a fun, comfortable and safe driving experience at an affordable price.

Fiat UK

MG5 EV review

MG5 EV

We test the affordable electric estate that’s proving to be a surprise sales success

MG may not be the iconic British sports car maker that it once was, but it’s thriving as a bargain brand under Chinese ownership.

In September 2021 MG Motor UK achieved its highest ever monthly sales in the UK, passing 5,000 registrations for the first time ever with sales up 61.2% year-on-year.

Much of the success was driven by MG’s pure electric models, the ZS and MG5. And even though it was only launched in late 2020, the MG5 was the seventh best-selling pure EV in the UK in September.

MG5 EV

As an all-electric estate, the MG5 currently occupies a unique niche in the zero emissions market.

It may not be the most handsome load-lugger on the market, but just like its crossover-styled sibling, the ZS, it’s a spacious, seriously affordable family car.

Priced from £25,095 (after the Government’s £2,500 plug-in grant) it’s available with two battery sizes (52.5kWh and 61.1kWh), giving a claimed range of 214 and 250 miles respectively. Both have a 115kW (154bhp) electric motor.

MG5 EV

And while the MG5’s range isn’t nudging the 300-mile range mark, it’s way ahead of many similarly priced cars, some of which are unable to reach 150 miles on a single charge (eg MINI Electric, Honda E and Mazda MX-30).

The MG5 sits much lower than most EVs, with the water-cooled battery pack integrated into the car’s chassis, giving it a surprisingly sleek profile..

Some may find it slightly nondescript from the front, but plenty of buyers have no problem with its styling judging by the amount I’ve seen on the roads in and around London.

MG5 EV

It’s perfectly acceptable inside too, if slightly dated, but there’s no debate over the space on offer. The large boot, accessed via a wide tailgate opening, delivers 464 litres of capacity with the rear seats up and load cover in place, expanding to an impressive 578 litres with the load cover retracted. Fold the 60:40 rear seat and the load capacity increases to a mighty 1,456 litres.

Additionally, there’s also plenty of room inside for up to five passengers, with two ISOFIX child-seat mounting points in the back.

The interior design isn’t flash and there’s no shortage of hard plastic surfaces, but it’s well equipped with an 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen (inc Apple CarPlay and Android Auto) as standard, plus automatic headlights, cruise control, 16-inch alloy wheels and air-conditioning. Move up a grade and you get leather-style upholstery, heated front seats, keyless entry, navigation and electrically folding and heated door mirrors.

MG5 EV

The flagship ‘long range’ version (starting at just £26,495) gets MG Pilot as standard, featuring a selection of safety and driver assistance goodies, including Active Emergency Braking, Lane Keep Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, Traffic Jam Assist, Intelligent High Beam Assist and Intelligent Speed Limit Assist.

I tested the entry-level 214-mile range MG5 EV. And with a 0-60mph time of 7.3 seconds, it’s no slouch, so you’ll surprise many a hot hatch driver on the road.

It can be fully charged overnight at home or to 80% at a 50kW fast charger in 50 minutes, or in 40 minutes via a 100kW rapid charger.

MG5 EV

Needless to say, there’s no engine noise, and the MG5 does a good job of keeping the outside world outside with little tyre, traffic and wind noise penetrating the cabin.

However, it’s no match for a conventionally-powered estate like a Ford Focus in the handling department. Thanks to its soft suspension, it will lean in fast corners and even become a little unsettled if pushed hard on challenging country roads.

But then, it isn’t meant to compete with the Tourings and Avants of this world – the MG5 is all about value for money.

MG5 EV

It’s also easy to drive and comfortable – just select ‘D’ on the dinky dial in the centre console and away you go. The steering is light too, making town driving a doddle, while long journeys are effortless and relaxing.

There’s a choice of Eco, Normal and Sport, but I found that Eco was just fine. There are also three levels of regenerative braking to choose from, so adding the odd mile when coasting, braking or on downhill stretches is very possible.

I didn’t quite manage the claimed range, but I’d say 180-190 is realistic, which is more than enough for most drivers.

MG5 EV

As with all MG models, there’s peace of mind too because it comes with a generous seven-year/80,000-mile warranty.

Verdict: The MG5 EV may not be the sexiest estate car on the market today, but it does offer honest, practical, electric motoring at an affordable price.

MG Motor UK

Skoda Enyaq iV review

Skoda Enyaq iV

Skoda’s first purpose-built electric vehicle is a revelation. In short, the Enyaq iV is the embodiment of the company’s winning blend of space, comfort, economy and value for money.

Closely related to its Volkswagen Group cousin, the ID.4, the Enyaq iV is a big SUV available with either a 62kWh or 82kWh battery, offering claimed ranges of between 256-331 miles.

A tad bigger and better looking than the ID.4, its distinctive design delivers serious road presence and excellent practicality.

Skoda Enyaq iV

Awarded a maximum five stars in Euro NCAP’s vigorous new testing regime, it’s also one of the safest cars on the road.

Autonomous emergency braking (AEB), road-sign recognition, lane-keep assist and cruise control are fitted as standard, along with Isofix points front and rear.

The Enyaq iV 60 uses a 62kWh battery and a 178bhp electric motor, with power fed to the rear wheels, resulting in a 0-62mph time of 8.8 seconds and up to 256 miles.

Skoda Enyaq iV

The Enyaq iV 80 has an 82kWh battery and 201bhp electric motor, again driving the rear wheels (331-mile range and 0-62mph in 8.7 seconds), while the four-wheel-drive ’80x’ has two electric motors, delivering 261bhp of power, a 6.9-second 0-62mph time and a range of 303 miles.

Priced from £32,010 (including the £2,500 Government EV grant), it represents fantastic value for money. Inside, there’s bags of room for all the family, lots of clever small storage spaces and a 585-litre boot, expanding to 1,710 litres with the rear seats folded.

There are six different interior trims to choose from, including recycled cloth. Up front it’s minimalist with few buttons. The large touchscreen infotainment display is less fiddly than the ID.4’s and there are piano-style buttons below to shortcut the key functions.

Skoda Enyaq iV

Despite its large dimensions and two-tonne weight, our Skoda Enyaq iV 80 test car didn’t feel like a handful on the road at all.

In fact, it’s more agile than you may expect, no doubt helped by its low-slung batteries and excellent weight distribution.

Effortlessly fast and gloriously refined, the ride is comfortable and there’s little body roll in more challenging corners.

Skoda Enyaq iV

The steering is accurate and nicely weighted, meaning that tighter manoeuvres are easier than you might think. And for a rear-wheel drive car, there’s an impressive amount of grip.

In other words, it is possible to have fun in an Enyaq, especially in Sport mode which gives maximum acceleration and performance. However, on longer cruises, Eco will do just fine as you endeavour to squeeze as many miles out of the battery pack as possible.

Skoda Enyaq iV

Like all EVs, it will charge on the move via regenerative braking (recovering energy otherwise wasted when slowing down or coasting). It can also be charged overnight at home, while a 10-80% charge using a 100kW rapid charger takes just over 30 minutes.

As with all EVs, real-world range will depend on many factors, including the outside temperature and driving style, but we’d say around 275 miles is quite possible in everyday driving.

Verdict: Spacious, comfortable, competitively-priced, well built and a doddle to drive, the all-new Skoda Enyaq iV is a game-changing electric family SUV.

Skoda UK

Skoda Enyaq iV