VW UP voted MoneySupermarket Car of the year

Volkswagen’s new city car, the up!, has been voted MoneySupermarket car of the year, leaving brands like Porsche and BMW eating its dust. A panel of high-profile motoring bloggers looked at some of the best new cars launched in the past year and ranked them according their looks, reliability, performance and running costs.

Best on the market

In the end, Volkswagen’s new £7,995 city car beat out the likes of BMW and Porsche to take the prestigious title, with judges praising its low initial price tag, cheap running costs and “funky” exterior. The VW up! attracted such positive reviews as: “Proves a cheap car can still be a decent drive” (honestjohn.co.uk); “The best package possible for a stylish city runabout” (motorward.com); and “Funky style, classy interior and outstanding fuel economy” (carpress.co.uk). MoneySupermarket partner WhatCar? calls the up! the “best city car on the market”, citing its handling, quality and reliability as stand-out features. The up! sits in car insurance group 1, the lowest of the 50 groups, making it relatively cheap to buy cover for. The BlueMotion Technology model is also road tax exempt, thanks to its saintly CO2 emissions of below 100g/km, and it gets close to 70 miles per gallon according to WhatCar? – crucial in these times when a trip to the petrol pumps can be a painful experience. City cars can compromise on headroom and boot space, but the up! is said to perform better than expected in both areas, and has a class-leading boot capacity of 251 litres.

Best of the rest

In second place was the BMW 320d, universally praised by the panel of judges, who said it combined high performance with comfort and boasted impressive fuel economy. Buyyourcar.co.uk called the 320d “faultless”, but it doesn’t come cheap at around £30,000. Following up in third place was the Range Rover Evoque mini Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV), which would also set you back around £30,000. Of course the 320d and Evoque won’t be quite as cheap to insure as the up! because they fall into car insurance groups ranging between 29 and 33, depending on the model. The top 10 also featured some unusual cars this year, none more so than the Vauxhall Ampera, which is powered by an electric engine. The Ampera has an additional range-extending petrol generator engine to compensate for its long charging time and the relative scarcity of charging points on the UK’s roads. In fact, fuel economy appears to be very important with judges this year, as seven of the top 10 cars were praised for their environmentally-friendly engines. Also, in a list full of new and innovative designs, Porsche’s 911 was able to find a spot at number seven, largely retaining its iconic look despite 2013 being the 50th anniversary of the car’s launch.

Buying a new car

If the top 10 list has inspired you to think about buying a new car (I’ve now got my eye on the up!), then it’s a good idea to make sure you look at how much your favourite would cost you in insurance. Choosing a car from a low car insurance group like the up! is a good way to bring the cost of cover down, but remember that the car’s value could make your premiums higher than they are at present, particularly if you’re currently driving an older, less valuable car. Our car insurance comparison tool will help you get an idea of how much you’ll be looking at paying, and allows you to easily toggle between levels of cover, optional extras and excess levels to help you get the best possible price for the cover you need.

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