- Three awards for Renault at What Car? Car of the Year Awards 2014
- “Exciting” and “untouchable” Megane Renaultsport 265 Cup named ‘Best Hot Hatch over £20,000’ for fifth year running
- ZOE Expression named ‘Best Green Car under £15,000’, and is described as “one of the most affordable ways into electric motoring”
- “Safe and quiet” Captur wins trophy for ‘Best small SUV under £16,000’
The “untouchable” Megane Renaultsport 265 Cup collected its fifth What Car? Car of the Year Awards hot hatch trophy in a row last night.
On a storming evening in London for the French brand, it drove off with three awards in total, plus another for its Dacia brand, as the 100 per cent electric ZOE Expression won ‘Best Green Car for less than £15,000’ and Captur was hailed ‘Best Small SUV for under £16,000’.
But the star of the show at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, was the facelifted Megane Renaultsport 265 Cup. Picking up ‘Best Hot Hatch over £20,000’, the judges said, for the price, “no other car could touch for outright excitement”.
Describing the five-time winner, road test editor Steven Huntingford said: “This squat, muscular hatch continues to delight with its blistering pace and direct, responsive handling.
“The astonishing grip, body composure, and that explosive engine really do make this a thrill-a-minute car. To top it all, the hot hatch is perfectly tolerable in everyday driving – motorway journeys are a reasonably refined, comfortable affair, and it’s easy enough to pilot around town.”
The What Car? COTY Awards are given out only to the cars that set the highest standards in their class, and it is considered to be one of the biggest and best dates on the UK automotive calendar.
Also among the honours in the capital was the pure electric Renault ZOE Expression, winning its price point in the best green car section. Judges said the “Fiesta-sized supermini is one of the most affordable ways into electric motoring”.
“The ZOE’s attributes don’t stop at affordability,” they added. “It’s a great small car in its own right, with room for four adults and a useful amount of luggage, a suitably bright and futuristic-looking interior, and big-car standard equipment including satellite navigation and a colour touch-screen.
“It’s even fun to drive, with the characteristic zesty initial acceleration and outstanding refinement of electric propulsion, as well as a comfortable ride and handling balance.”
And to complete a superb hat-trick for Renault, the Captur TCe 90 Dynamique MediaNav was declared ‘Best Small SUV for less than £16,000’.
Judges said most of the smallest SUVs are “deeply flawed, but the Clio-based Captur is different”, before adding that it has “a spacious and user-friendly cabin” and is “one of the quietest cars of its kind”.
“Its low list price and CO2 emissions make it easy to justify as both a private and company buy,” they added. “Renault’s engineers clearly worked hard to make it a safe car, too, because the Captur was rated highly for adult, child and pedestrian protection when it was crash-tested by Euro NCAP.
“Our preferred trim – Dynamique MediaNav – gives you everything from automatic lights and climate control to Bluetooth and a touch-screen sat-nav system.”