VOTING is open in the second Sunday Times Motor Awards sponsored by Bridgestone and over the weeks since launch we’ve be giving you the details of each of the shortlisted entries in each category.
Our motoring writers whittled down the long lists of their favourite cars on sale this year to produce the final nominees, but most of the winners will be decided by you. Even better, by voting you could win a seven-night holiday for two in Thailand.
Below are the Best British-Built Car of the Year contenders with the reasons behind their nomination. When you’ve found your favourite, be sure to click through to vote for it — the winner will be the one that receives the most support from our readers.
Choose from the Bentley Continental GT V8, Jaguar XE, LEVC TX taxi, Nissan Qashqai, Range Rover Evoque, MINI Electric and Toyota Corolla.
Our panel of experts were looking for the cars that represent the best of the British car industry and prove, despite the ongoing uncertainties over Brexit, the UK can still produce some mighty fine motors.
The winners of the 2019 Sunday Times Motor Awards, including the coveted Sunday Times Car of the Year and Jeremy Clarkson’s Car of the Year, will be announced at a star-studded event in October.
Bentley Continental GT V8
Bentley is celebrating its centenary in 2019, so it’s appropriate that one of the firm’s Crewe-built cars has been nominated this year. We haven’t picked a Bentley for patriotically sentimental reasons, however: the Continental GT is, in our opinion, one of the finest luxury cars on the market right now, with our pick of the slowly-expanding Continental range being the V8 version you see here.
Reviewing the Jaguar XE for The Sunday Times, Jeremy Clarkson concluded that it was extremely good-looking and felt like a £100,000 car. It’s also an exceptionally well put together vehicle, thanks to the team at Solihull.
LEVC TX taxi
The black cab is as much a London landmark as Big Ben, Tower Bridge and Nelson’s Column. The London Electric Vehicle Company has reinvented it for the electrified age and hopes to find buyers not just in London but around the world. But it will forever be a British landmark to us.
BMW has learned a lot about electric cars through pioneering models like the i3 and plug-in hybrid i8. So it must be confident that the new, pure-electric version of the MINI Hatch will more than satisfy the needs of its customers. The car maker is claiming quick recharging times, and while the range of up to 144 mile won’t impress some, it’s the badge on the front that may entice a new breed of electric motorist.
Even Driving.co.uk accepts there are times when drivers want a comfort-blanket of a car; one that won’t be challenging to drive or taxing to own, and is affordable to buy in the first place. The Qashqai (which we crowned the Best British-Built Car last year) is that car, a family SUV that is so popular it is the UK car industry’s most popular export.
Range Rover Evoque
It may look like not much has changed with the new Evoque, launched this year, but the familiar shell shrouds a significantly updated car underneath, with big improvements in comfort, technology and interior space (without increasing overall length). The Evoque remains an extremely capable and desirable machine, though. And it’s built in Liverpool.
The Corolla is back, and this time it’s built in Britain. One of the world’s most popular cars, it has suffered from a reputation of being as mediocre as a badly made chicken korma, but this one changes all that. The boot isn’t huge but it’s dynamically and technologically impressive, genuinely giving the Volkswagen Golf a run for its money.