The 2015 What Car? awards were announced recently, and whilst you can bet your bottom dollar that the Audi TT was crowned Coupe of the year once more, it may come as a surprise to learn that a total of three Audi’s gobbled up awards, with the popular plug-in hybrid, the A3 Sportback E-tron, scooping Electric Car of the Year, whilst the A3 Cabriolet took home the accolades for Convertible Car of the Year for the second year running.
You’d have to go back to 2001 for the first time the Audi TT wowed the judges, but since then the What Car? judges just simply haven’t been able to take their eyes off its charms. It’s monopolised the Coupe of the Year award, winning a staggering seven times in the last eight years, with the judges forecasting they wouldn’t be surprised to see it win again next year. The Audi A3 Cabriolet, meanwhile, took home Convertible Car of the Year honours in 2014 too, whilst the brand new A3 Sportback E-tron has scooped the important Electric Car of the Year award in its debut year.
It represents unanimous success for Audi, who recently sold their two millionth car in the UK. Displaying a commitment to continuous improvement that has been reflected by sustained growth over the last 20 years, the brand have been hard at work expanding their portfolio, and the fact that their Sportback E-tron has taken home the Electric Car of the Year Award is a testament to their dedication. Moreover, their A7 Sportback 3.0 TDI Ultra SE Executive and A3 Sportback 1.4 TFSI SE were also recommended as being ‘best buys’ in their classes by the What Car? judges.
When they reviewed it, the What Car? judges gave the new Audi TT 5/5, emphasising its quality and performance, whilst describing its steering as ‘the best in class by a long way.’ The Audi TT’s unprecedented success since 2001 has been nothing short of remarkable, with What Car? Editor, Jim Holden, saying that the new version won the Coupe of the Year award ‘by quite a big margin. While there are plenty of sleek and slinky-looking offerings in this market, they all demand some form of compromise from you … all except the TT.’ High praise indeed, and with a gutsy 2.0-litre petrol power plant that can deliver 306bhp and explosive pace, we’d have to agree.
Audi A3 Sportback E-tron
The Audi A3 has long been lauded as an excellent car, and was crowned What Car? of the Year in 2013. For this reason, it probably isn’t at all surprising that the A3 Sportback E-tron scooped the Electric Car of the Year award, but when you consider some of the car’s it was up against, you’d have to admit that this one must have some serious mettle to topple them all – and it’s just further testament to Audi’s engineering excellence. Praised for its cost-saving credentials, the What Car? team described it as a ’non-brainer for business users,’ which for them – and us – gives it the nod over the BMW i3.
Audi A3 Cabriolet
The Audi A3’s are just so good that they tend to dominate award bashes like these, with another of their offspring, the Audi A3 Cabriolet winning the Convertible Car of the Year award in 2014, and now again in 2015. The guys at What Car? don’t have enough praise for it, describing it as ‘one of the best open-tops for driving thrills’, whilst praising its cabin as ‘class leading.’ There is no doubt that to the average buyer, the Audi A3 Cabriolet has its flaws – high price tag, lack of rear space – but at an awards show, we’re very much here to concentrate on all the glitz and the pizzazz this convertible offers. Comfort and control is brill, while the ride and handling is second to none. Summer is here, and we’ve got to say that we’re excited.
So, in conclusion, is it just that Audi are very, very good, or are their rivals simply getting a little complacent? Whatever the reasoning, we have to raise our glasses to Audi. It’s one heck of a brand.
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