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2020 CCT100 Winners

Company Car Today CCT100 Awards 2020 logo V1Welcome to the third annual Company Car Today CCT100 Awards, where we run down the 100 cars that can serve any fleet requirement, as well as picking out the class best in the 20 main car categories, and anointing our 2020 Car of the Year.

We have trawled the UK car market, assessing the merits of every car on sale to draw up shortlists of the top five cars in every segment including our 2019 champion, the fleet best-seller in each sector, according to the SMMT fleet sales classification, and the conventionally-powered car with the lowest emissions in each segment. Then we’ve added two picks of our own, voted by Company Car Today’s expert bank of contributors, taking into account everything that makes for an appealing company car.

With those five-car shortlists created, we’ve then taken an in-depth look at the 12 separate qualities we believe make for a good company car – everything from running costs using industry expert Kee Resources’ whole life cost data, to price, emissions, BIK payments and residual value, along with insurance cost, boot space, performance and three categories based on our own experience of how the cars look, drive and perform as an overall company car proposition.

With each car given a score, that is then transformed into the chart that unfolds over the next 26 pages of the top 100 cars to cover every fleet purpose, keeping drivers, fleet managers and accountants happy. Feel free to let us know what you think of our choices…

We’ve set-out below the category winners and shortlisted vehicles.  For the full run-down on each of the 100 vehicles take a look at the winners issue of Company Car Today – you can see the digital version HERE.

 

 

CCT100 City Car of the Year

Category Shortlist: Fiat 500, Fiat Panda, Hyundai i10, Peugeot 108, VW Up

Winner – Hyundai i10

 

CCT100 2020 Awards WINNERS logo_ Hyundai i10It’s impressive that the Hyundai i10 can still grab the 2020 CCT100 City Car of the Year award not long before the current model is replaced.

The outgoing model displays an impressive array of strengths in a sector where practicality and particularly cost is vital. Not only was the i10 top of our shortlisted cars for P11d price, but it also had the best residual value despite its age, and the best overall cost per mile, as well as joint-best for insurance cost and second for SMR cost, while also offering the largest boot and a decent drive.

2020 CCT100 Awards - Hyundai i10 - Winner - City Car of the Year 2020The only let-down is the car’s emissions figures, with every shortlisted rival proving more efficient. But that’s something that will be solved this year with the new i10 and its 101g/km CO2 figure – Hyundai claims it’s a big upgrade on the current car, especially for technology, segment-leading connectivity and safety. As long as it retains the excellent running costs then the little Hyundai’s fleet appeal should be enhanced.

 

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CCT100 Supermini of the Year

Category Shortlist: Ford Fiesta, Mini Hatch, Seat Ibiza, Toyota Yaris, Volkswagen Polo

Winner – Seat Ibiza

 

CCT100 2020 Awards WINNERS logo_2 Seat IbizaSeat’s sporty and stylish Ibiza has become the third different winner in three years for our CCT100 Supermini of the Year category, and fierce competition meant there was little to choose between four of the five shortlisted candidates.

But the Spanish flair won out, thanks to the Ibiza being very well priced and practical, as well as offering good emissions, insurance and service, maintenance and repair costs. It also drives nicely and benefits from parent company Volkswagen’s excellent petrol engines, particularly the middle of three offered – the 95hp 1.0-litre unit – which is the lowest for BiK taxation thanks to emissions of 104g/km.

2020 CCT100 Awards - Seat Ibiza - Winner - Supermini of the YearThe Ibiza, like all Seat models, is simple to specify, thanks to Seat’s Easy Move programme where the firm has removed the majority of options from the spec list, and drivers pick the trim that best suits them.

 

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CCT100 Lower Medium Car of the Year

Category Shortlist: Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Mazda 3, Toyota Corolla, Volkswagen Golf

Winner – Honda Civic

 

CCT100 2020 Awards WINNERS logo_3 Honda CivicThe Civic flies a little below the radar compared to some in the high-volume lower medium segment, and that’s a shame because our triple CCT100 Lower Medium Car of the Year is a corker.

It looks great, is very well-priced, has excellent petrol and diesel engines (just make sure you side-step the CVT automatic gearbox) and has ridiculous amounts of cabin and boot space. It also looks great and handles with a balance and response that is up with the class best. Plus the running costs and BiK payments are well under control.

2020 CCT100 Awards - Honda Civic - Winner - Lower Medium Car of the Year 2020The Civic was lightly revised late last year (see our test drive review on page 45 for all of the details), when an attractive Sportline trim was added to the range-topping EX. The new trim, pictured here, sits between the regular models and the bonkers Type-R.

 

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CCT100 Premium Lower Medium Car of the Year

Category Shortlist: Audi A3, BMW 1-Series, Lexus CT, Mercedes-Benz CLA, Mercedes-Benz A-Class,

Winner – BMW 1-Series

CCT100 2020 Awards WINNERS logo_4 BMW 1 SeiesThe all-new 1-Series launched in the final quarter of 2019 and was a big deal for BMW because, as the hatchback entered its third generation, it switched from rear-wheel drive to front drive.

There were compelling packaging reasons for the move, and the new car is a huge step forward in terms of interior space in particular, but you can understand why many worried that these drivetrain revisions would mar the car’s historically class-leading dynamics.

Those concerns proved unfounded, as might have been anticipated given the BMW Group’s success with the front-wheel-drive Mini’s handling prowess.

2020 CCT100 Awards - BMW 1-Series - Winner - Premium Lower Medium of the Year 2020But there’s much more to the new 1-Series than its handling. This was a dominant CCT100 Premium Lower Medium Car of the Year victory over our overall 2019 Car of the Year Mercedes A-Class, with the BMW topping almost half of our 12 areas of analysis, and coming second in another four. It cemented its victory via impressive performances in all the areas that make a good company car, such as SMR and insurance cost, competitive P11d and, crucially, great emissions figures.

The entry-level diesel, the 116hp 116d, is RDE2 compliant, so benefits from a four-band reduction in its benefit-in-kind that not many rivals can manage, and is at 100g/km to start with (all figures are WLTP-correlated and will change from April 2020 when the new WLTP figures for taxation come into effect). Other diesels are set to get RDE2 compliance this spring, significantly boosting their tax efficiency as a company car.

The entry 140hp 118i petrol engine is also a sweet little unit, and has figures from just 113g/km, and both entry-level diesel and petrol units offer performance that feels better than the power figures suggest. Of course, there are also 150hp 118d and 190hp 120d diesels, should the extra power be required, as well as the range-topping M135i, BMW’s most powerful four-cylinder engine in its history, with a very healthy 306hp.

The M135i and the 120d come with BMW’s xDrive four-wheel-drive system rather than the front-driven layout of the rest of the range, and the 120d doesn’t get the entry SE trim offered with the lower-powered engines.

 

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CCT100 Upper Medium Car of the Year

Category Shortlist: Mazda 6, Skoda Superb, Toyota Prius, Vauxhall Insignia, Volkswagen Passat

Winner – Vauxhall Insignia

 

CCT100 2020 Awards WINNERS logo_5 Vauxhall insignaVauxhall’s Insignia Grand Sport was a huge step up from the previous model when it launched three years ago, and it’s still a leader in a sector that, although declining in popularity, is still big in the company car marketplace. It’s also a good-looking car, enjoying a sleek profile emphasised by the narrow headlamps – quite different from its predecessor.

A key driver of its popularity is Vauxhall’s very keen pricing of its flagship model, making it look like a bargain while still offering decent equipment and technology levels. That’s especially true of the business-focused Tech Line Nav trim level, which starts from less than £23,500 but offers 7.0-inch colour touchscreen satnav, dual-zone climate control, front and rear parking sensors and driver’s lumbar support on top of the likes of lane assist, automatic emergency braking and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto fitted as standard on every model. Vauxhall also runs a three-day test drive programme on Insignia for company car drivers and managers.

2020 CCT100 Awards - Vauxhall Insignia - Winner - Upper Medium Car of the Year 2020Last year, Vauxhall tweaked its line-up by dropping the Touring Sport model, leaving only the hatchback. But on the flip-side, the hatch is getting a technology-led upgrade this year, with the first cars arriving in May. Those cars also get a mild styling revision, primarily via the addition of new 84-LED lights, replacing the current 16-LED version, which will allow the car to respond more quickly to traffic situations in terms of adjusting the light beam. The rear camera is also improved, and adds optional rear cross traffic alert to improve the safety of car park manoeuvres.

The upcoming revised model will also benefit from powertrain upgrades that improve efficiency by up to 18%, according to Vauxhall. The new engine range includes a 122hp 1.5-litre diesel which will be the most efficient model, as well as 145hp 1.4 petrol, 2.0-litre petrols of 200hp and 230hp, and a 200hp diesel.

As well as getting top marks for its keen pricing, the Insignia scored well against its rivals for SMR and insurance cost, plus a decent residual value, making it a compelling whole life cost case. It’s good news on the benefit-in-kind tax front, too, because emissions are good. The hatchback has also a decent-sized boot and plenty of room for rear occupants, although headroom isn’t the most plentiful in the class.

 

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CCT100 Compact Executive Car of the Year

Category Shortlist: Audi A4, BMW 3-Series, Lexus IS, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Volvo S60 / V60

Winner – BMW 3-Series

 

CCT100 2020 Awards WINNERS logo_6 BMW 3 SeiesIt was a busy 2019 for BMW, replacing its two big-selling and most core fleet models: the 1-Series and 3-Series.

The current 3-Series replaced a car that was still near the top of its class, despite being at the end of its life, thanks to a high-quality interior, driving dynamics and prestige that made it a compelling company car proposition.

First launched in 1975, the 3-Series still accounts for around 30% of BMW’s global sales, despite diversification into SUVs and niche areas. But despite its long-standing position as the attainable desirable company car for aspiring executives, the times are changing within the latest 3-Series range, with the 330e plug-in hybrid model expected to close in on the 320d, which has for many years been the biggest seller, and continues to be at this stage.

2020 CCT100 Awards - BMW 3-Series - Winner - Executive Car of the Year & Overall Car of the Year 2020 - Image 2At launch, the 112g/km 318d auto was the most efficient car in the range, 1g/km better than the 320d, with the manual versions of both models – the only two that get a manual option – a handful of grams worse off. The potent 265hp 330d tops the diesel range, while petrol options run from 320i to the range-topping 374hp 340i, which is the only model to come in xDrive four-wheel-drive form alone, although the 320i, 320d and 330d can be specced with xDrive for around another £1500 over the rear-drive car.

The Touring and 330e PHEV models were added to the range late last year to expand the new car’s appeal, and the two will combine this summer when a Touring plug-in hybrid launches – BMW’s first PHEV estate.

The new 3-Series scored very strongly in the Compact Executive sector this time round, ranking first or second among the five shortlisted cars across 10 of the 12 criteria, and coming third in the other two, which gave it a resounding victory and illustrated its strengths in keeping drivers, fleet managers and their finance directors happy.

 

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CCT100 Executive Car of the Year:

Category Shortlist: Audi A6, BMW 5-Series, Lexus ES, Mercedes-Benz CLS, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Volvo S90 / V90

Winner – BMW 5-series

 

CCT100 2020 Awards WINNERS logo_7 BMW 5 SeiesTwo years after it topped our overall chart as the CCT100 Car of the Year, the all-conquering BMW 5-Series is still our top executive car, bagging the title for the third year in a row.

The competition was fierce, thanks to the Volvo S/V90 dark horse in particular, but the reigning champ took the victory thanks to consistent performance across all our key criteria, with the added bonus of being the choice for drivers who like their cars to handle with a poise and sense of enjoyment none of the BMW’s rivals can offer.

2020 CCT100 Awards - BMW 5-Series - Winner - Executive Car of the Year 2020Available as saloon or estate, with the former offering a tax-busting 530e plug-in hybrid in both rear- and four-wheel-drive form (at 36g/km and a 35-mile official range, and 49g/km and 30 miles respectively), the 5-Series has clever connectivity, advanced specification, practicality, good running costs and a pedigree that will make it hard to topple

 

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CCT100 Luxury Car of the Year

Category Shortlist: Audi A8, BMW 7-Series, Lexus LS, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Porsche Panamera

Winner – Mercedes-Benz S-Class

 

CCT100 2020 Awards WINNERS logo_8 MERC S ClassThe big Mercedes flagship has regained our CCT100 Luxury Car of the Year title after losing to the new Audi A8 last year. The sumptuous interior, relaxed and refined driving or passenger experience and excellent residual values all contribute to the car’s appeal.

That the car is still winning awards as it enters the twilight of its life cycle is testament to its quality, and this year, the RVs and running costs made the difference, along with a more competitive list price.

2020 CCT100 Awards - Mercedes-Benz S-Class - Winner - Luxury Car of the Year 2020The main options for fleets are the 286hp S350d – available in standard or long-wheelbase form – and the long-wheelbase-only 340hp S400d, which actually comes in 1g/km lower than the less powerful diesel at 159g/km. Then there’s the plug-in hybrid, which doesn’t get below the tax-useful 50g/km figure but is London congestion charge-exempt.

 

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CCT100 Compact Crossover of the Year

Category Shortlist: Citroen C3 Aircross, Peugeot 3008, Nissan Juke, Seat Arona, Volkswagen T-Cross

Winner – Citroen C3 Aircross

 

CCT100 2020 Awards WINNERS logo_9 Citroen C3 AircrossCitroen’s bargain baby crossover retains its title for a second time, with the strong pricing and good emissions figures driving it to victory, helped by stand-out looks and boot space.

The French brand has already sold more than 17,000 C3 Aircross models in the UK (and 200,000 worldwide) since the 2017 launch, and late last year Citroen made a number of changes to the range to keep the car at the top of the class in the face of renewed competition coming over the next few months.

2020 CCT100 Awards - Citroen C3 Aircross - Winner - Compact Crossover of the Year 2020The mild spec and powertrain updates included improved interior ambience, additional specification and a new 130hp/automatic gearbox combination on the Flair trim level.

The range constitutes Feel, Origins and Flair specifications, kicking off at a little over £18,000 for the Puretech 110 petrol engine.

 

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CCT100 Crossover of the Year

Category Shortlist: Kia Niro, Nissan Qashqai, Seat Ateca, Skoda Karoq, Toyota C-HR
Winner – Toyota C-HR

CCT100 2020 Awards WINNERS logo_10 Toyota C-HRToyota’s first ever Company Car Today CCT100 Award goes to the newly revised and now hybrid-only C-HR in the very competitive crossover category.

The award highlights the progress hybrid vehicles have made in the marketplace, with the Toyota performing well for residual values, as well as the traditional emissions-based hybrid strong suits. The C-HR topped the table against some strong rivals for P11d, BiK payments, emissions, SMR and insurance costs and cost per mile, giving it an insurmountable lead. That’s backed up by stand-out distinctive styling that also hides the vehicle’s bulk, making it look smaller on the road than it is when you enter the cabin, although boot space isn’t up with the best in class.

2020 CCT100 Awards - Toyota C-HR - Winner - Crossover of the Year 2020The revision hitting the roads this month has seen the C-HR go ‘self-charging’ hybrid-only with the removal of the petrol alternative and the addition of a higher-power 182hp 2.0-litre hybrid, joining the existing 1.8-litre 120hp option. That change comes alongside subtle visual tweaks and Apple Carplay and Android Auto connectivity.

 

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CCT100 Premium Crossover of the Year

Category Shortlist: Audi Q3, DS 3 Crossback, DS 7 Crossback, Mercedes-Benz GLA, Volvo XC40

Winner – Volvo XC40

CCT100 2020 Awards WINNERS logo_11 Volvo XC40

Our 2019 CCT100 Premium Crossover of the Year retains its title for 2020, having spent last year proving how important it is to a buoyant Volvo brand. The XC40 was the company’s biggest-selling car in the UK last year – no mean feat when it was also the biggest year for Volvo sales since 1990. And that 29-year high, with sales up by 12%, was in a year where the market was down by more than 2%.

The XC40 is well clear of its XC60 larger sibling in sales terms, and the distinctive and stand-out styling and impressive interior space are obvious reasons why the car is proving so popular, although great residuals and decent running costs also play a big part.

2020 CCT100 Awards - Volvo XC40 - Winner - Premium Compact Crossover of the Year 2020The XC40 plug-in hybrid’s imminent arrival means there’s a PHEV for each of Volvo’s models, and the XC40 moves into full electric power in the next year.

 

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CCT100 MPV of the Year

Category Shortlist: Citroen Berlingo, Citroen C4 Spacetourer, Mercedes-Benz B-Class, Peugeot Rifter, Toyota Prius+

Winner – Peugeot Rifter

CCT100 2020 Awards WINNERS logo_12 Peugeot RifterThe vehicular epitome of sensible, the Peugeot Rifter does a great job of offering practicality on a reasonable budget, with clever use of space, practicality and utilitarian usefulness.

Which is why the Rifter is our CCT100 MPV of the Year again. Coming in two vehicle lengths and five- or seven-seat configurations, the Rifter finished just ahead of its almost identical Citroen Berlingo sibling thanks mainly to a small residual value advantage that more than countered for emissions that could be lower compared to rivals. Its good scores across the board and rugged looks make for a car that’s very much a ‘head’ purchase, even if Peugeot does call it a LAV – Leisure Activity Vehicle.

2020 CCT100 Awards - Peugeot Rifter - Winner - MPV of the Year 2020

 

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CCT100 Large MPV of the Year

Category Shortlist: Citroen Spacetourer, Ford S-Max, Ford Galaxy, Seat Alhambra, Volkswagen Sharan
Winner – Ford S-Max

CCT100 2020 Awards WINNERS logo_14 Ford S-MaxOne of a shrinking number of cars to hang onto its award for the third year, the Ford S-Max has long been the acceptable face of large people carriers, in terms of proving they can look good and handle nicely, as well as offer the necessary seven-seat-plus-luggage practicality of a large MPV.

Despite having been on sale in its current second-generation guise for half a decade now, Ford is still improving the car, with the S-Max and its larger and squarer Galaxy sibling recently gaining new tech, equipment and styling features, on top of the 2018 upgrades to the engine and auto gearbox.

2020 CCT100 Awards - Ford S-Max - Winner - Large MPV of the Year 2020The S-Max sealed its victory with a string of high scores across price, emissions, tax, cost per mile, looks and driving experience, with the only blots being higher-than-expected SMR and insurance costs, while boot space is so-so when all seven seats are in use. But there’s still enough space for seven plus some luggage, and the interior is a well-designed and pleasant place for all.

 

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CCT100 SUV of the Year

Category Shortlist: Peugeot 5008, Seat Tarraco, Skoda Kodiaq, Toyota RAV4, Volkswagen Tiguan

Winner – Peugeot 5008

 

CCT100 2020 Awards WINNERS logo_15 Peugeot 5008As with the Civic, above, Peugeot’s 5008 is now a triple winner of its class, in this case the CCT100 SUV of the Year award.

Having launched in late 2016, a few months behind its 3008 smaller sibling, the seven-seat 5008 offers seven-seat practicality and a huge boot in a package that looks great inside and out. It’s also well priced against its SUV rivals and scores strongly across the spectrum of running costs, with the very competitive emissions figure having the double bonus of increasing efficiency while cutting a driver’s BiK bills compared with most rivals.

Emissions start at just 101g/km with the 130hp diesel engine, while the petrol range kicks off at just 117g/km. That places the 130hp 1.2 petrol in a lower BiK band than the diesel.

 

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CCT100 Premium SUV of the Year

Category Shortlist: Audi Q5, BMW X3, DS 7 Crossback, Mercedes-Benz GLC, Volvo XC60

Winner – Mercedes-Benz GLC

 

CCT 2020 Awards WINNERS logo_16 MERC GLCMercedes revamped its GLC last year, making changes that propelled the premium SUV to the top of its class. It garnered points here for cost-per-mile and benefit-in-kind figures, as well as performance, while it also scored strongly for P11D, residual value and insurance groups, giving it a fairly comfortable victory against a raft of good quality competition.

The 2019 update brought revised engines, uprated infotainment including the new Mercedes MBUX telematics system and improved safety system including Active Steer Assist and Active Distance Assist that adjusts speed for bends or junctions.

2020 CCT100 Awards - Mercedes-Benz GLC - Winner - Premium SUV of the Year 2020The GLC was also mildly revised on the outside, although little work was needed on the already pleasant exterior. Meanwhile, the new 258hp petrol engine joins a pair of diesels featuring mild-hybrid technology to improve fuel consumption. Despite the petrol being a strong performer, both diesel units – a 194hp 220d and 245hp 300d – still make more sense from a company car perspective, with the lower-powered oil burner emitting from just 137g/km on smaller alloy wheel option.

 

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CCT100 Large SUV of the Year

Category Shortlist: Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia Sorrento, Ssangyong Rexton, Toyota Land Cruiser, Volkswagen Touareg

Winner – Kia Sorento

CCT100 2020 Awards WINNERS logo_17 Kia SorentoKia’s biggest model took our CCT100 Large SUV of the Year prize off the back of being strong across the board. It ranked high for every category we analysed bar residual value, where rivals were stronger. SMR and insurance costs were top of the class, alongside comparatively good scores for efficiency and the driving experience, while competitive P11d pricing helpsthe Sorento to a very respectable whole-life cost result.

This facelifted Sorento added the more visually appealing GT-Line and GT-Line S trim levels, as well as a new and more efficient eight-speed automatic gearbox.

2020 CCT100 Awards - Kia Sorrento - Winner - Large SUV of the Year 2020All versions are powered by a 197hp 2.2-litre diesel engine, and the model runs from below £29,000 for the entry trim level up to almost £43,000.

 

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CCT100 Premium Large SUV of the Year

Category Shortlist: Audi Q7, BMW X5, Range Rover Sport, Lexus RX, Volvo XC90

Winner – Volvo XC90

CCT100 2020 Awards WINNERS logo_13 Volvo XC90Volvo’s XC90 is a winner, collecting our CCT100 Premium Large SUV of the Year award in convincing style.

The sensible side first: compared with its premium brand competition, the seven-seat XC90 is well-priced, has comparatively good efficiency, a decent residual value and top-notch service, maintenance and repair and insurance figures, all of which make for a winning cost-per-mile figure. And then there’s the great interior and boot space, excellent cabin quality and stylish exterior that help with the desirability factor. All that is backed up by a 2019 mid-life refresh, which included efficiency-boosting mild hybrid technology as well as very minor styling changes and an increased range for the T8 plug-in hybrid version.

2020 CCT100 Awards - Volvo XC90 - Winner - Premium Large SUV of the Year 2020The XC90 was the beginning of Volvo’s new product transformation that has now made its way across a range of excellent fleet options, and it’s still very much a winner.

 

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CCT100 PHEV of the Year

Category Shortlist: BMW 330e, Hyundai Ioniq PHEV, Mercedes-Benz E300de, Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, Volvo XC60 T8

Winner – Hyundai Ioniq PHEV

 

CCT100 2020 Awards WINNERS logo_18 Hyundai Ioniq PHEVThe Ioniq has continued to build its presence in the UK fleet sector since becoming the first car in the UK to be offered with electric, plug-in hybrid and hybrid alternatives when it launched in late 2016.

A refresh for the range last year gave the plug-in hybrid driver-controlled regenerative braking, which is a useful addition, as well as improved connectivity and a new Eco Driving Assistant System that uses road and navigation information to alert the driver that deceleration is expected, so they can lift off earlier to save fuel.

2020 CCT100 Awards - Hyundai Ioniq PHEV - Winner - PHEV of the Year 2020The Ioniq PHEV comes in Premium or Premium SE trim levels, both of which have a CO2 emissions figure of just 26g/km and a 39-mile electric range, before the motor combines with a 1.6-litre petrol engine. Starting at less than £30,000, the new Ioniq is one of the cheapest plug-in hybrids on the market, offering a bridge on the journey from ICE to electric.

 

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CCT100 Electric Car of the Year

Category Shortlist: Hyundai Kona Electric, Kia e-Niro, Nissan Leaf, Tesla Model 3, Tesla Model S

Winner – Kia e-Niro

 

CCT100 2020 Awards WINNERS logo_19 Kia e-NiroThe electric Niro is so popular and so good that you can’t actually buy one at the moment. Frustratingly, Kia is only taking reservations through its dealer network a present for a car that has a wait of at least six months because of the intensity of demand and insufficient battery supply.

The e-Niro offers a 282-mile range and impressive levels of interior space and practicality, making it a low-compromise electric vehicle that costs less than £34,500 once the electric vehicle grant is applied.

2020 CCT100 Awards - Kia e-Niro - Winner - Electric Car of the Year 2020Kia hopes supply will free up as we move through 2020, at which point it will be able to take and fulfil more fleet orders, rather than the minimal numbers versus demand so far.

 

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CCT100 Sports Car of the Year

Category Shortlist: Audi A5, BMW 4-Series, BMW i-8, Mazda MX-5, Porsche 911

Winner – Mazda MX-5

 

CCT100 2020 Awards WINNERS logo_20 Mazda MX5It’s three out of three for Mazda’s roadster in the CCT100 Awards, with the MX-5 again grabbing our award for being the best perk car in fleet.

The MX-5 hit its 30th year in 2019, and every one of the four generations has had the same recipe of lightweight rear-wheel-drive two-seater, offering as much fun as cars costing double the amount.

The most recent update came around 18 months ago, when Mazda introduced a more powerful and higher-revving 184hp version of its 2.0-litre engine, as well as some smaller but handy interior comfort tweaks such as steering wheel reach adjustment and increased movement of the driver’s seat.

2020 CCT100 Awards - Mazda MX-5 - Winner - Sports Car of the Year 2020The fun starts from well under £20,000 with the 132hp 1.5-litre engine, while emissions start from 143g/km and running cost are kept well under control, in part helped by the excellent residual value.

 

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CCT100 Car of the Year 2020:

BMW 3-Series

 

CCT100 2020 Awards WINNERS logo_21 BMW 3 SeiesCompleting an unprecedented one-two for BMW, the new 3-Series is our CCT100 Car of the Year, as well as scooping the CCT100 Compact Executive Car of the Year title.

It was a busy 2019 for BMW, replacing its two big-selling and most core fleet models: the 1-Series and 3-Series.

The current Three replaced a car that was still near the top of its class, despite being at the end of its life, thanks to a high-quality interior, driving dynamics and prestige that made it a compelling company car proposition.

The 3-Series first launched in 1975, and it still accounts for around 30% of BMW’s global sales, despite diversification into SUVs and niche areas. But despite its long-standing position as the attainable desirable company car for aspiring executives, the times are changing within the latest 3-Series range, with the 330e plug-in hybrid model (see p25) expected to close in on the 320d, which has for many years been the biggest seller, and continues to be at this stage.

2020 CCT100 Awards - BMW 3-Series - Winner - Executive Car of the Year & Overall Car of the Year 2020 - Image 1At launch, the 112g/km 318d auto was the most efficient car in the range, 1g/km better than the 320d, with the manual versions of both models – the only two that get a manual option – a handful of grams worse off. The potent 265hp 330d tops the diesel range, while petrol options run from 320i to the range-topping 374hp 340i, which is the only model to come in xDrive four-wheel-drive form alone, although the 320i, 320d and 330d can be specced with xDrive for around another £1500 over the rear-drive car.

The Touring and 330e PHEV models were added to the range late last year to expand the new car’s appeal, and the two will combine this summer when a Touring plug-in hybrid launches – BMW’s first PHEV estate.

The new 3-Series scored very strongly in the Compact Executive sector this time round, ranking first or second among the five shortlisted cars across 10 of the 12 criteria, and coming third in the other two, which gave it a resounding victory and illustrated its strengths in keeping drivers, fleet managers and their finance directors happy.

The new car is slightly larger than the one that came before, adding 85mm of length, 11mm of which was used to increase rear seat legroom to address a criticism of the previous model. The Three is also 16mm wider and a single millimetre taller than the car it replaced.

Standard kit has also been improved on the new car, with the likes of three-zone climate control, an 8.8-inch touchscreen, reversing camera, electric folding mirrors and ambient lighting now standard on all trim levels, while Sport spec gets heated leather sports seats and top M Sport trim gets a 10.3-inch touchscreen that’s optional on lower specs.

All cars also get the BMW Connected system, which includes intelligent voice control and the Connected App that can sync with a calendar to alert the driver as to what time they need to depart (allowing for traffic delays), learns mobility routines and allows the user to lock and unlock the car from their phone, check vehicle location and send navigation destinations to the car. The Connected Plus pack is also standard and brings Apple CarPlay, concierge services and real-time traffic information, while 330e and M Sport-spec cars also get the Connected Professional addition of music, parking services and advanced navigation. However, there’s no Android Auto option until this summer.

Our verdict when we conducted an in-depth Big Test on the new 3-Series was that it “makes improvements in the key areas that were required without losing the driver and badge appeal that put it at the top of the class”, and our 2020 CCT100 Car of the Year title is further evidence that the 3-Series is once more the king of the company car.