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SKODA FABIA IS 2015 WHAT CAR? CAR OF THE YEARWe teased you with the details of what was coming up at What Car?’s Car of the Year Awards, held at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London’s Park Lane, and it’s now been revealed that the winner of “the most prestigious motoring award in the UK” – What Car? Car of the Year, in association with Warranty Direct – is (drum roll) the Skoda Fabia.

It’s a second win for the Czech model following its first victory way back in 2000, and it also won the Small Car category the ceremony, coming out top after the awards had been presented in the 16 category titles on offer, with “only the car that delivers best against the judging panel’s stringent criteria winning the overall Car of the Year prize.”

In all there were 26 vehicles that made the overall COTY shortlist, and it was the Skoda Fabia 1.2 TSI 90 SE model that beat off the stiff competition to clinch the Car of the Year award with What Car?’s panel of judges for the COTY award singling out the Fabia’s turbocharged 1.2-litre petrol engine for special praise. The engine is renowned already for its punchy and flexible performance as well as its impressive efficiency credentials – 58.8mpg (EU Combined) and 110g/km emissions – so the award will no doubt make it a more attractive option for (especially) fleet owners.

In the small car class, the Skoda Fabia beat two of its main rivals – the Ford Fiesta and VW Polo – for both space and practicality, while judges also remarked on the technology as standard that includes a brilliant 6.5-inch touch-screen and a ‘Mirrorlink’ system that can sync with Android phones to provide sat-nav.

What Car? editor, Jim Holder, said: “The Fabia is a fully deserved winner of our most sought after award – not just because of the fact it is a well-equipped and practical small car, but also because of the big name rivals it has disposed of in the process. We’ve driven and evaluated all of its rivals and, whichever way you cut it, the Fabia is the most rounded small car on sale in the UK today.”

WHAT CAR? CAR OF THE YEARFull list of What Car? Car of the Year Awards winners

  • CITY CAR Winner – Hyundai i10 1.2 Premium
  • SMALL CAR Winner – Skoda Fabia 1.2 TSI 90 SE
  • FAMILY CAR Winner – Skoda Octavia 1.2 TSI 105 SE
  • ELECTRIC CAR Winner – Audi A3 e-tron
  • COUPE Winner – Audi TT 2.0 TFSI Sport
  • ESTATE CAR Winner – Ford Mondeo Estate 1.6 TDCi 120 Econetic Zetec
  • MPV Winner – Citroën Grand C4 Picasso 1.6 e-HDi 115 Exclusive
  • HOT HATCH Winner: Ford Fiesta ST-2
  • CONVERTIBLE Winner – Audi A3 Cabriolet 1.4 TFSI 150 Sport
  • SMALL SUV Winner – Nissan Qashqai 1.5 dCi 110 N-tec 2WD
  • LARGE SUV Winner – Range Rover Sport SDV6 HSE
  • EXECUTIVE CAR Winner – BMW 520d SE automatic
  • SPORTS CAR Winner – Porsche Boxster 2.7
  • LUXURY CAR Winner – Mercedes-Benz S350 CDI Bluetec L SE Line
  • SAFETY Winner – Land Rover Discovery Sport
  • READER AWARD Winner – Honda HR-V
  • CAR OF THE YEAR Winner – Skoda Fabia

Many of these cars are available to lease from Nationwide Vehicle Contracts here