BMW takes top honours

What Car? has named the new BMW 5 Series as its Car of the Year for 2017 at the 40th annual What Car? Awards, held on London’s Park Lane.

The 5 Series fended off stiff competition from Mercedes-Benz and Rolls-Royce to win the Luxury Car of the Year Award, before it was also named the best new car of the past 12 months.

According to What Car? the latest 5 Series is even more efficient than its predecessor and sets the class standard for handling and refinement, while its interior provides technology and a sense of luxury usually reserved for far more expensive machinery.

Other newcomers also made a big impression on the judges, particularly in the burgeoning SUV sector. The new Seat Ateca took the Small SUV of the Year prize and the Skoda Kodiaq won Large SUV of the Year.

Championing manufacturers who have made progress in safety and technology, What Car? and Thatcham Research presented the Safety Award to the Toyota Prius, while the Peugeot 3008 was awarded the Technology prize, sponsored by Nexcel, for its i-Cockpit interior layout.

Putting the vote to What Car? readers, the Honda Civic Type R was named the most exciting car due to be launched in 2017 in the Reader Award category. The latest version of this legendary hot hatch will be made in Britain when it arrives in the latter half of the year and beat the Jaguar I-Pace and Lexus LC 500 into second and third place respectively in the poll.