The Audi A4 has been named as the What Car? Car of the Year 2016, as Audi, Skoda and VW win eight of 19 award categories
Darren Moss
13 January 2016

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.

Read our review on the 2015 Audi A4 here

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.

Audi is now the only car manufacturer to have won the coveted What Car? Car of the Year trophy more than once in the past 10 years - with the A1 and A3 winning the main prize in previous years.

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.

Our Verdict

Aud A4

All-new Audi A4 zeroes in on efficiency, technology and quality but is it enough to drive buyers away from the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class?

Join the debate


14 January 2016
Not biased at all!! Right?

14 January 2016
MadFer wrote:

Not biased at all!! Right?

But not a VAG car. This article shares the Autocar home page with a couple of negative articles on The VAG group. If, despite all the dishonestly rife within the VAG group, their cars are still proved to be brilliant by journalists and punters alike, then so be it.

17 January 2016
MadFer wrote:

Not biased at all!! Right?

I found Whatcar to be the most objective car magazine out there. If you go out and actually drive these cars back to back, you will see what they mean. If I were going to buy a car, I would turn to Whatcar as a guide and go and drive them to see what I like. VAG is one of the highest spenders when it comes to R&D and generally it shows in their products. You will find German companies dominate review rankings for consumer white goods also. The country as a whole is really well geared for "middle" tech industries like this through their education and apprenticeship systems etc.

14 January 2016
Aside from all the very obvious reasons you'd not want an Audi (e.g. people might see you), the article mentions that the 'Car of the Year' awards were held in association with Warranty Direct. Worth nothing that Warranty Direct's famous 'Reliability Index' ranks both VW and Audi in the bottom half of the table, with the latter band hovering just outside the worst five at position 33 out of 38 manufacturers. So then. Expensive, questionable reliability, put together by liars, and everyone will think you're a jerk. Car of the Year!

14 January 2016
In the reliability table you quoted Mercedes have 3 cars in the bottom 10 and Porsche (VW company again?) are 3rd from bottom, just ahead of Landrover but behind Alfa. Volkswagen are ahead of BMW and Jaguar

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

14 January 2016
ThwartedEfforts wrote:

Worth nothing that Warranty Direct's famous 'Reliability Index' ranks both VW and Audi in the bottom half of the table

I don't own a VW nor an Audi, but I think it's worth pointing out that relative reliability is much less important than absolute reliability.

If, for example, the top scorer had a reliability of 4% then that's still rubbish. Conversely, if the bottom scorer manages say 99% then that's nothing to worry about.

Position in the table is irrelevant compared to how likely it is that you'll break down.

14 January 2016
I think part of the problem is when you have spent your money on a premium car and things go wrong you are more annoyed than if you spent £4.50 on a car.

Generally I have found Vauxhall reliable - but then others slate them for reliability. I also found my Rover 25 reliable and had it 8 years (50,000 miles) all it needed once was a battery - oh and the key broke in the ignition once but apart from service items (didn't change belts or anything like that just basics) it started every time and didn't put a foot wrong.

Maybe i have just been lucky!

14 January 2016
These results are why I don't read What Car.

gazza5 wrote:

I also found my Rover 25 reliable and had it 8 years (50,000 miles) all it needed once was a battery - oh and the key broke in the ignition once but apart from service items (didn't change belts or anything like that just basics) it started every time and didn't put a foot wrong.

I had a Rover 25 once (with the 1.6 k-series engine) and it, too, never put a foot wrong. I couldn't get rid of my Rover 75 (1.8 turbo) because it's one of the best cars I've ever owned. Sometimes reputations are justified, sometimes they're not.

14 January 2016
PERHAPS SOME CORPORATE GIFT AND ENTERTAINING HAS Taken place or free use of vehicles for a year as you do not see these cars generaly come top in the test reports , but miraculously win car of the year What Car alias Which Pocket.

14 January 2016
Of course synics will abound with this result even down to suggestions of freebies and trips and more. Cant say as I blame you all thats the way we are made. But hand on a moment. The A4 is a damn good car and whilst it isnt the best in the market - it was by far and away the best of the bunch they picked with the exception of the Mazda which really should have won it. Oh well maybe some of you are right - who knows

what's life without imagination


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