The new Audi A4 has been named as Car of the Year 2016 at the annual What Car? Awards in London.
Volkswagen Group brands won eight of 19 'best buy' categories, as well as the overall trophy for Car of the Year in the awards, which were held in association with Warranty Direct.
What Car's testers used 16 core test critera to assess each model, including back-to-back testing on different types of road, analysis of ownership costs, mystery shopping and independent emissions testing. The brand has stressed that none of its winners are affected by the recent NOx and CO2 emissions scandals involving the Volkswagen Group.
Editorial director of What Car?, Jim Holder said: "When we began the judging process, the VW emissions scandal was in full swing.
"However, our guiding principle is to recommend the best cars on sale today. We have tested all cars with our unrivalled rigour and scrutiny on a level playing field with all of their rivals.
"Regardless of the scandal, the VW Group still builds cars that rank among the very best on the road and, tested against our criteria covering all of the rational reasons that consumers choose one car over another, the results are clear to see.
“All VW Group brands face a huge journey in rebuilding public confidence in their products. We acknowledge that and accept that some car buyers will simply look to our runner-up recommendations as a result. Car buyers will always have varying priorities, and we will always be there to help make their journey as easy and fruitful as possible."
Other award winners on the night included the Hyundai i10, which was named best city car, Ford's Fiesta ST, which won in the hot hatchback category, and the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, which was named as the best luxury car.
What Car? readers also voted for the Alfa Romeo Giulia as the car they were most looking forward to in 2016.
Dominique Boesch, Audi's head of sales for Europe said: “We at Audi feel enormously privileged to be recognised so conclusively with the coveted overall Car of the Year award, the strongest possible vote of confidence from What Car?
“For the A4 to receive such an award is enormously meaningful for us and is a recognition of the advanced engineering and design that the A4 epitomises, which make it such a popular choice for UK drivers."
The full list of award winners can be found on the What Car? Awards website.