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Car Of The Year Named As The Audi A3

(c) Sky News 2013

The Audi A3 Sportback has been named Britain's Car of the Year.

The German-made car is the 36th winner of the coveted What Car? prize, and was also named Small Family Car of the Year.

Editor in chief Chas Hallett said: "The Audi A3 Sportback mixes excellent refinement and an accomplished driving experience with easily the finest cabin quality ever seen in a small family hatchback.

"It sets a new benchmark and it is keenly priced, a combination that makes it a worthy Car of the Year."

Meanwhile, Ford (NYSE: F - news) vehicles collected four awards at the ceremony held at the Grosvenor House on London's Park Lane.

The Fiesta grabbed the Supermini category, the Mondeo was named Best Family car, while the estate model won a similar award, and the Focus ST-1 snared Best Hot Hatch.

Recently released figures showed car registrations in 2012 at a four-year high - but still around 50% below pre-financial crash volumes.

The Ford Focus was revealed to be the best-selling car in Britain last year, with 109,265 registrations lodged with the DVLA.

Mr Hallett said: "Ford really is building great cars. Its cars look good, are great to drive, reliable and make great buys."

However, Ford has been carrying out a review of its production capacity, which have already resulted in hundreds of job cuts in Europe and Britain.

Many analysts still consider combined European production facilities to far outstrip demand for its products.

Luxury marques have been one vehicle sector that has defied dampened growth prospects - prompted by growing market share in emerging markets such as China, India and Brazil.

What Car? gave three trophies to BMW (Xetra: 519000 - news) , for its X3 SUV, the 320d ED automatic for executive and the best open-top model went to the Mini Roadster Cooper S.

Porsche scored Sports Car of the Year with the Boxster 2.7, while the Seat Alhambra was given the MPV award for the third year running.

Audi (Other OTC: AUDVF - news) 's TT (BSE: TTL.BO - news) strengthened its success by winning best coupe for the seventh time.

The monthly magazine gave the British-built Range Rover the title of Luxury Car of the Year, while the Volkswagen Up held on to its title as City Car of the Year.

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