Ford’s new compact SUV, the Puma, has been named the Car of the Year at the prestigious What Car? Awards.
The Puma’s success marks the sixth time Ford has driven away with the the overall What Car? title.
The Puma won in the Small SUV category, where it saw off competition from models including the Audi Q2 and Skoda Kamiq, before going up against models from Skoda, Range Rover and Tesla among others for the overall title.
The judges praised the Puma for being fun to drive, cleverly packaged and well priced. Additionally, What Car?’s independent True MPG tests showed it to be extremely economical in real-world driving, thanks to its mild hybrid technology.
What Car? editor Steve Huntingford said: “As a small SUV, the Ford Puma competes in one of the fastest-growing sectors of the car market. Crucially, it also excels in all the areas that are important to buyers, according to our research.
“Thanks to its sharp handling, gutsy engine and clever mild hybrid technology, it offers a mix of fun and frugality not previously seen among its competitors. Plus, it’s as practical as it is stylish. In short, the Ford Puma is truly outstanding.”
Roelant de Waard, vice president of marketing, sales and service for Ford of Europe, said: “It’s a great honour for the Ford Puma to be named as What Car?’s Car of the Year 2020. We’re all excited to see the return of the Puma name on a stylish and dynamic crossover that reflects today’s customer aspirations. To receive such high praise from industry experts like What Car? kicks off the year to a great start.
Three new categories were introduced for 2020, reflecting the growing demand for electric vehicles (EVs) and SUVs: Small Electric Car, Large Electric Car and Coupe SUV. These titles were awarded to the Renault Zoe, Tesla Model 3 and Range Rover Velar respectively.
Elsewhere, it was a hugely successful night for BMW, with its latest 3 Series winning Best Executive Car, Best Plug-In Hybrid and the Safety Award, while the bigger 5 Series was named Best Luxury Car.
Audi and Skoda were also recipients of multiple awards, with the Skoda Scala named as the Best Family Car and the Skoda Superb the Best Estate. Audi won the Best Luxury SUV award with the Q7, and Best Coupe with the TT.
The Reader Award, voted for by the public and given to the most eagerly anticipated new launch of the year ahead, went to the new Land Rover Defender. The brand saw further success with the Range Rover Evoque awarded Best Family SUV.
Citroën and Volkswagen were among the manufacturers to receive the same award in consecutive years, with the Citroën Berlingo named Best MPV and the Volkswagen Polo retaining the Best Small Car title.
And Subaru took home the Technology Award for its DriverFocus driver monitoring system, which uses a camera and infra-red sensor to detect if a drivers’ focus has wandered or the have fallen asleep.
Duncan McClure Fisher, CEO of headline sponsor MotorEasy, said: “It is a privilege to be so closely involved in the 2020 What Car? Car of the Year Awards. Both MotorEasy and What Car? share the same driver centric approach to motoring.
“Each year What Car? highlights the leading models to look out for over the next 12 months, and gives a great insight into what cars will be bought over the year.”