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WhatCar 2018 Awards - Cars of the year

Learn more about our award winning cars at SMC Ford & Suzuki in Kent, London and Berkshire.

Best True MPG - Suzuki Ignis 1.2 SHVS SZ5

Best Hot Hatch (under £20'000) - All-New Ford Fiesta 1.0L 140PS ST-Line

Best small SUV (under £16'000) - Suzuki Vitara SZ4

Best MPV (over £30'000) - Ford Galaxy 2.0 TDCi 150 Zetec

Best City Car - Suzuki Celerio SZ2

65.7 MPG 97 g/km 18% 17 59.6 mpg

If you're looking at MPG scores then you are clearly interested in keeping costs low. And this is where the Suzuki Ignis really shines:

It’s frugal in any type of driving and inexpensive to buy, at over £3000 cheaper than the Yaris Hybrid and virtually half the price of the CX-5 - WhatCar 2018.

You can even have an Ignis with four-wheel drive that returns 53.3mpg. All this makes the Ignis the deserving winner of the first True MPG Award.

Given the wide selection of hybrids, small turbocharged petrol engines and diesels tested this year, this award is quite some achievement in an ever growing and evolving market of cars.

Not only does the Ignis sip less fuel than anything else, but it doesn’t chuck out much NOx, either. Considering NOx contributes to the formation of smog and acid rain, that’s worth celebrating.

9 sec 125 mph 62.8 mpg 102 g/km 19% 15

Hot Hatchback? Does it really count? Well in the category of under £20'000 - and well under it is, one of the newcomers to a category that has seen a huge shake up of what is, and isn't in hot hatchback territory is the splendid Fiesta 1.0T ST-Line.

Now we're not talking Focus RS 0-60 times here that make to clutch the wheel like the rocket hidden under your seat is about to take off, but being a Hot-Hatch is more than speed, it's about the experience and this ST-Line with new looks, improved suspension, tighter steering and a more serious face is whole lot of fun for your daily driver.

The Fiesta ST-Line isn’t just more entertaining than rivals such as the Seat Ibiza 1.5 FR, thanks to its sharper steering and better body control; it’s cheaper to insure, too. And with its bespoke body kit and chunky alloy wheels, it even looks like a proper little pocket rocket - WhatCar 2018.

11.5sec 112mph 53.3mpg 123g/km 23% 14

Despite the arrival of some very appealing and new competition from a number of manufacturers, as well as Suzuki’s own Ignis, the Vitara has remained WhatCar's favourite budget SUV. The Vitara is bigger than a number of more expensive rivals, with plenty of boot space and enough room for adults in the back seats. We'll have to see next year once the New Ford EcoSport gets a chance to show off a bit how it compares.

SZ4 trim provides the 'essentials' such as Bluetooth connectivity, a DAB radio, all-round electric windows and alloy wheels, plus a few luxuries including cruise control and climate control - A lot for a winner of the under £16'000 category.

The Vitara doesn’t disappoint on the road, either. Our preferred 1.6-litre petrol engine is willing if you don’t mind working it hard and is smoother than most of the downsized three-cylinder engines in rivals. The Vitara even has enjoyable handling, resisting roll well and feeling keen to change direction - WhatCar 2018.

In everyday driving, this version is capable of diesel-beating economy; it managed an impressive 47.7mpg in the True MPG test.

Then there’s dependability: Suzuki ranked fourth out of 32 manufacturers in the latest reliability survey. All in all, the Vitara makes for a very compelling small SUV.

10.9sec 123mph 56.5mpg 129g/km 27% 20

The Ford Galaxy is a staple of people carrying technology with its Tardis-like ability to carry people and loads. It is one of the most recognisable cars on our roads and that doesn't look to change any time soon, and why it wins this over £30'000 category.

It’s very simple to fold the seats, and you can slide and fold those in the middle row individually without much effort, giving the Galaxy one of the most flexible interior layouts around, even more so than the big Seat Alhambra’s - WhatCar 2018.

The Galaxy should also be cheap to run. The 148bhp version of Ford’s 2.0-litre diesel engine, paired with a slick six-speed manual gearbox, strikes the best balance between performance and efficiency in the line-up.

The Galaxy has a comfortable and smooth ride, and despite its sizeable dimensions, it’s one of the best-handling MPVs on sale. Even the base trim is well-equipped. In a Zetec you get 17in alloys, rear parking sensors and an 8.0in touchscreen infotainment system.

13.5sec 96mph 65.7mpg 99/km 18% 7

What do you need in the City? Manoeuvrability? An easy driving experience? Practicality? The Celerio makes a superbly well-rounded city car choice in an inexpensive package, hence why it's our under £9'000 category winner.

Suzuki’s 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine is a peach. It packs a modest 67bhp but, because the Celerio is light, it’s easily strong enough for town work and doesn’t even feel too out of its depth on the motorway. Drive sensibly and the 57.8mpg we saw in our real-world True MPG testing is achievable - WhatCar 2018.

The way the Celerio rides and handles should also be commended. Whilst other rivals might have scored better in some areas, they also cost a whole lot more, and for car on a budget you wouldn't expect a Bentley, but you can still enjoy this on your daily commute.

Great value for money is even more apparent inside. The Celerio offers genuine space for four adults and the weekly shop, its tall windows provide a brilliant view out in all directions and Suzuki throws in everything you would realistically need – even on entry-level SZ2 trim. All things considered, the Celerio is a serious amount of car for the cash.