Honest John Awards Shortlist

What are the Honest John Awards?

The HonestJohn.co.uk Awards are unlike any other. They are not awarded by celebrity judges or a panel of automotive journalists; instead they come from the best experts of all: our readers.

The shortlists span all vehicles and all budgets, while the main prize will recognise and reward the cars and vans that our users search for most on the site. Put simply, the reviews which create the most interest among HonestJohn.co.uk users are the winners.

Data from the site is used to measure each model's popularity with our readers over the previous 12 months. As you can imagine, this is no small task, the site gets more than 2.0 million visits every month with the majority of these users viewing car reviews. However, we've crunched the numbers to find those cars that have stirred the most interest.

This year the awards are split into 19 main categories from City Car to Performance Car with the ultimate accolade being the ‘Car of The Year’ which – as the name suggests - goes to the model which has had the most visits of any car on the site. There are no shortlists for the Car Of The Year, so you'll have to wait until the big day to see which car has been most popular with the readers of HonestJohn.co.uk.

Finally there are two extra awards: The Highly Rated award given to the car that satisfies owners most in the Owners’ Reviews on HonestJohn.co.uk and the Real MPG award for the car that performs the best for fuel consumption compared to its official figure. All of the winners will be announced on 2 May.


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Honest John Awards 2019: The Shortlist

These are the cars and vans that have made it to the final shortlist for the Honest John Awards. Click the headings below to see which makes and models are in the mix for a prestigious Honest John Award in 2019.

1City Car

A great city car must be small and affordable but belie its size with good interior space and flexibility. But which model will win in the Honest John Awards 2019: City car category?

Hyundai i10

Not only does the Hyundai i10 feel incredibly comfortable and refined for a car of its size, it also offers superb value for money - with lots of equipment and a generous warranty.

Kia Picanto

The Kia Picanto proves you can have your cake and eat it. It's fun to drive around town, while also being well-equipped and practical. It won't break the bank to buy or run, either.

Skoda Citigo

The Skoda Citigo has been sweeping up city car sales since its launch in 2012 - and deservedly so. It's easy to drive and park, surprisingly practical and very cheap to buy and run.

Suzuki Ignis 

With its crossover styling, the Suzuki Ignis is a left-field choice. Buyers rate its combination of quirky looks, excellent reliability record and practical nature.

Volkswagen Up

The Volkswagen Up is proof that you don't need to lower your expectations when it comes to downsizing your daily transport. It's pleasingly refined, cheap to run and capable of carrying four adults.

2Small Hatchback

Buyers of small hatchbacks are just as demanding as those looking for bigger and more premium cars. They want something that offers a surprising amount of space, high levels of refinement on the motorway while also being very cheap to run. These five models make the shortlist for the Honest John Awards 2019.

Ford Fiesta

The latest Ford Fiesta is holding onto its title of the UK's most popular car - and deservedly, too. It's great to drive with a much improved interior and low running costs. There's a variety of styles available, too - from the posh Vignale to the sporty ST-Line and rugged Active models.

Honda Jazz

We're always recommending the Honda Jazz to our readers, and for good reason. It's very practical, has a reputation for reliability and is packed with equipment as standard.

Hyundai i20

The Hyundai i20 is a very sensible little car, available with some tempting finance offers and a generous five-year warranty. A recent facelift means it's bang up to date, while the turbocharged petrol engines are among the best in the sector.

Skoda Fabia

If you're in the market for a new small hatchback, dismiss the Skoda Fabia at your peril. It offers excellent value for money and a surprisingly upmarket interior, with comfortable seats and plenty of space.

Suzuki Swift

Tempting finance deals and rock-solid reliability means the Suzuki Swift should be high on your shortlist - like it is ours. It's great to drive, with a strong engine line-up and the option of an excellent automatic gearbox. 

3Family Car

Honest John Awards 2019: Family Car 

A good family car needs to offer practicality, space and comfort while also being cheap to run. Here's the shortlist for the most popular family cars on HonestJohn.co.uk.

Ford Focus

The latest Ford Focus is better than ever, with a much improved interior and a strong engine line-up. It's also great to drive, and there's a variety of models available - including the upmarket Vignale and sporty ST-Line.

Honda Civic

If you're looking for a dependable family car, the Honda Civic should definitely be on your shortlist. As well as enjoying a reputation for reliability, the Civic will be cheap to run and is exceedingly practical.

Mazda 3

The latest Mazda 3 has an interior that matches premium rivals, while on the move it's extremely refined and surprisingly fun to drive. Once the new SkyActiv-X petrol engine arrives later in the year, it'll be practically perfect.

Skoda Octavia

With a huge boot and very comfortable interior, the Skoda Octavia is the ideal family car. It's also packed with 'Simply Clever' features, such as a built-in ice scraper and a reversible rubber boot carpet. There's an awful lot to like about the Octavia.

Volkswagen Golf

The Volkswagen Golf might be one of the more expensive cars in its class, but its cabin exudes quality - even as it approaches the end of its lifespan. It just feels very well made, with an interior that looks premium. Could it pick up an award a year before its replacement?

4Compact Premium Car

If you're a high-mileage driver, you want a prestigious car combining comfort with practicality and low running costs. Competition is very fierce in this category for the Honest John Awards 2019.

Alfa Romeo Giulia

A relatively new contender in this category, the Alfa Romeo Giulia combines distinctive looks with a stylish cabin and a range of well-performing engines. It's definitely the one to buy if you want to stand out.

Audi A4

Smart tech, an exceptional cabin and high levels of safety kit make the Audi A4 a strong choice in one of the most competitive sectors.

BMW 3 Series

The latest BMW 3 Series is better to drive than ever, with a well-built cabin and plenty of technology. With its wide range of efficient and powerful engines, there's a 3 Series for everyone.

Jaguar XE

Like the Alfa Romeo Giulia, you're making a statement opting for the Jaguar XE over its German rivals. And who can blame you? It's great to drive while also having business-friendly running costs.

Mercedes-Benz C-Class

The latest C-Class has the most luxurious cabin in the class, while also being good to drive and relatively affordable. Is there a better all-rounder? Quite possibly not.

5Large Car

Whether you're looking for a big car as a status symbol or just want something that can carry all the family (without resorting to an SUV...), a large car has to do it all. These are the finalists for the title of Best Large Car at the 2019 Honest John Awards.

BMW 5 Series

With its plush interior and clever technology, it's no surprise that the BMW 5 Series was one of the cars that appealed most to our readers over the last 12 months. It'll cost you, mind, but you get what you pay for...

Ford Mondeo

We'll be sad to see the end of the Mondeo, if it faces the axe in the near future as rumoured. The Mondeo has a faithful following, and it's easy to see why - with its sharp looks, efficient engines and spacious cabin.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class

The latest Mercedes-Benz E-Class proves that you can find a genuinely luxurious cabin and driving experience with ultra low running costs. Its diesel engines are staggeringly efficient and the E-Class is an extremely classy car. There's a lot to like.

Skoda Superb

Arguably the best pound-for-pound car on sale today, the Superb pairs the ride quality of a luxury car with the typical running costs of a family hatchback. The interior is huge too with enough storage to rival the best family estate cars can offer. 

Volkswagen Arteon

The stylish Volkswagen Arteon will make you wonder why you'd bother paying for a premium badge. It's got a really high quality interior with loads of space, along with the usual choice of efficient Volkswagen Group engines.



A new award for 2019 - the addition of a category solely for electric vehicles reflects the rapidly changing new car market. There's no shortage of competition, with rivaly from a growing number of manufacturers. These are the ones that attract the most attention from HonestJohn.co.uk users...

BMW i3

It says a lot about the design of the BMW i3 that it still looks futuristic today, six years after its launch. And it's still technologically advanced, too - with its carbon fibre body and range of up to 160 real-world miles.

Hyundai Kona

No one expected the Hyundai Kona Electric to be the EV game changer it is. With a range of up to 279 miles, the Kona Electric is eminently useable while also being surprisingly affordable. Combine this with a desirable compact SUV body style, and it's no wonder it's sold out for 2019.

Jaguar I-Pace

The most impressive Jaguar since the E-Type? We reckon so. The I-Pace is a hugely desirable car, that provides great comfort with eye-catching looks and plenty of real-world range. The fact that Jaguar beat German rivals to the sector makes the I-Pace even more impressive.

Nissan Leaf

By far the best-selling electric car in the UK, the Nissan Leaf will fit in with your lifestyle with surprising ease. It's practical for its size, while also being extraordinarily cheap to run. No wonder it's so popular with Honest John readers.

Renault Zoe

One of the most afforable electric cars, the Renault Zoe is all the car most people could possibly need. At home in the city, the Zoe loves darting in and out of spaces.

7Small Crossover

Small crossovers should pair the practicality of a large SUV with the low running costs of a compact hatchback. But which ones have made it to the shortlist for the Honest John Awards 2019?

Dacia Duster

There aren't many crossovers you can buy brand new for less than £10,000 - in fact, the Duster's the only crossover you can buy for less than £10,000. But not only is the Duster affordable, it's also very good - with a bit boot and a no-nonsense approach. We like it - and so do our readers.

Honda HR-V

The Honda HR-V took the Small Crossover title at last year's Honest John Awards - and understandably so. Its magic seats make it hugely practical, while its engine line-up is very strong (and hugely reliable). Can it win the award again in 2019?

Peugeot 2008

With low running costs and impressive engines (especially the 1.2 petrol units), the Peugeot 2008 is an extremely strong contender in this category. Add in great value for money and a big boot, and could we have found this year's winner?

Suzuki Vitara

We've always liked the current Vitara for its affordable price tag, strong reliability record and practical interior. It's better than ever now, thanks to the recent addition of excellent BoosterJet petrol engines and a revised interior. 

Volkswagen T-Roc

The majority of small crossover buyers care about being seen in a fashionable car - and the Volkswagen T-Roc nails that brief. Add in an upmarket interior and a strong engine line-up, and the T-Roc makes an extremely strong case for itself.

8Premium Crossover

Premium crossovers are arguably the hottest cars on the market. They need to look great, with a badge that's going to set tongues wagging and a refined driving experience. These are the cars that meet those qualities according to page views at HonestJohn.co.uk.

Audi Q5

An Audi might seem like the default choice if you're after a premium SUV, but for good reason. The Q5 is an ultra classy offering, with a superb interior and plenty of space. It's extremely refined on the motorway and an all-round brilliant car.


Combine that desirable BMW badge with a practical interior, surprisingly extensive list of standard kit and affordable running costs, it's no surprise the BMW X1 is popular with our readers. 

Jaguar F-Pace

The Jaguar F-Pace took the Large Premium Car award at last year's event, and it's still proving popular with our readers. It still turns heads several years after its launch, and it handles incredibly well for its size.

Lexus NX

The Lexus brand has a loyal following thanks to its incredible reliability record and economical hybrid engines. The NX is meant to attract new buyers to the manufacturer, and our stats reveal that this appears to be working - it's one of the most popular cars on HonestJohn.co.uk over the last year.

Volvo XC40

In our review of the Volvo XC40, we describe it as 'achingly on-trend'. That sums up the Volvo - it's quirky and interesting, and a refreshing alternative to German rivals. There's an awful lot to like about the XC40, and the interest it's getting from our readers backs that up.


Our readers love a crossover - and we can't blame you. They're immensely practical, provide an excellent view of the road ahead and often look sharper than the alternative hatchback. These are the most popular crossovers on the market.

Honda CR-V

The Honda CR-V has always been a robust, practical SUV - and the latest model builds on that, with seven seats available and a hybrid engine. It's more spacious than mainstream alternatives and buyers can choose between two- or four-wheel-drive models.

Hyundai Tucson

A huge boot, enough space for all the family and affordable running costs - what more could you ask for in a crossover? The Tucson is a really likeable crossover in a competitive class and, understandably, is very popular with our audience.

Kia Sportage

Like the Tucson, the Kia Sportage is very practical and comes with a huge amount of standard equipment and a generous seven-year warranty. There's an awful lot to like here, appealing to those families who rate value for money highly.

Nissan Qashqai

Almost the default crossover of choice for many buyers, the Qashqai has recently been updated with new engines and a revised interior. It's better than ever, so it's no wonder that readers have been spending a great deal of time considering it as their next car. Will it bag the title of Crossover of the Year?

Peugeot 3008

Quite possibly the most attractive mainstream crossover on the market, the Peugeot 3008 also has a funky (and very practical) cabin and a generous boot. It also rides well - important for family buyers - and is offered with impressive petrol and diesel engines.


The darling of the suburban driveway, the SUV has become the only way to travel for some drivers. But which SUV is the most popular with our readers?

Audi Q7

With a huge amount of space, seven seats and a quality cabin, the Audi Q7 really is the ultimate family car. The current model's been around since 2015 - but is it still good enough to take our award in 2019?


A new BMW X5 arrived in 2018 - and what a car it is. The interior is just as premium as you'd expect from a car of this price, while also being highly practical. Combine that with excellent (and relatively economical) engines, and BMW could be onto a winner.

Kia Sorento

A genuine seven-seater, the Kia Sorento comes with a long warranty and loads of space, not to mention a premium cabin. The fact that it's appearing alongside premium models in our awards shortlist says a lot about the excellent Sorento.

Skoda Kodiaq

The Skoda Kodiaq was our overall Car of the Year in 2018 - and it's in the running again. Buyers love the practicality it offers, as well as the surprisingly classy cabin and, of course, Skoda's Simply Clever features. 

Volvo XC90

If there was ever a car to tempt you away from a premium German SUV, this is it. Its interior is incredible, frankly, as are the engines on offer - including the 'twin-engine' plug-in hybrid T8.

11Performance Car

While we tend to focus our efforts on the latest crossovers and family cars, nothing escapes the thorough HonestJohn.co.uk review process - including desirable performance cars. If you're looking to treat yourself this year, read on...

Alfa Romeo 4C

We weren't exactly positive about the Alfa Romeo 4C when we first drove it in 2014, but it's easy to understand why our readers rate it. It looks the part, can go quickly and is a much more interesting choice than a Porsche Cayman. 

Aston Martin Vantage

The new Aston Martin Vantage is everything you want from a supercar: great looks, a desirable badge and an incredible driving experience. The 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 can be surprisingly efficient, if that's important.

BMW i8

While you might be more likely to imagine a Toyota Prius when the word 'hybrid' is mentioned, the BMW i8 proves that electrified vehicles can be a whole lot of fun. It might have an engine from a MINI, but the i8 is every bit the desirable performance car.

Ford Mustang

It's available as the cheapest V8 on sale, and that's just one of many reasons to consider a Ford Mustang. To drive, it's nothing short of theatrical - there really is nothing else on the market like it for the price.

Jaguar F-Type Coupe

Not only does the F-Type look incredible in Coupe guise, it's also brilliant to drive - 80 per cent more rigid than its soft-top counterpart. While it's fun to drive fast, it's equally happy at low speeds with good visibility and a forgiving ride. Even the boot is pretty big.


The UK might not have the sunniest climate, but we're an optimistic bunch - which explains why we're one of Europe's biggest markets for convertibles. Gone are the times when a soft-top was an irritating compromise for most of the year; now they're generally very refined and practical cars that can comfortably be used day-to-day.

Audi A3 Cabriolet

Ultra stylish and extremely premium, the Audi A3 Cabriolet could be the car to tempt you away from a crossover. It's got a big enough boot for most buyers, and its engines are extremely frugal.

BMW 4 Series Convertible

A metal folding roof means the BMW 4 Series Convertible is a sensible drive all year round, while it really looks the part as soon as you drop the hood. Of course, its interior is up to BMW's usual standards, while it's also great to drive. 

Fiat 124 Spider

We're sad to see the end of the Fiat 124 Spider. It might be based on the Mazda MX-5, but it has a personality all of its own - with distinctive looks and torquey turbocharged engines.

Mazda MX-5 RF

The Mazda MX-5 is enduringly popular and deservedly so, thanks to its affordable running costs, enjoyable drive and general feel-good factor. The RF builds on this, with desirable coupe looks and more refinement.

Mercedes-Benz SLC

Classy and capable, the SLC boasts excellent refinement and comfort, and it's cheaper to run than you might think thanks to frugal diesel options. Its metal folding roof makes it very suitable for daily use in the winter. 

13Luxury Car

Buyers in the Luxury Car class are demanding folk - and rightly so. They expect that cars to be nothing short of perfect, without costing a fortune to run. They need to seamlessly combine luxury and technology, while also being good to drive and effortless on a long journey.

Audi A7 Sportback

The latest Audi A7 Sportback, launched in 2018, is a truly luxurious vehicle. The interior is one of the best money can buy, while the technology on offer is sure to keep passengers entertained.

Jaguar XJ

The Jaguar XJ has been around in its current form for nearly a decade, which almost makes it an antique in this sector. Some people like antiques, though, and it's more engaging to drive than many rivals.

Mercedes-Benz S-Class

Beloved of chauffeurs, the S-Class is a wonderful car in which to be driven as well as to drive. It's available with a host of amazing technologies too, including suspension that lifts up a little to iron out potholes. 

Porsche Panamera

The Porsche Panamera really does do it all - it's incredible to drive, while its interior feels more special than most (if not all) of its rivals. There's a variety of engine offerings, too - all of them excellent.

Range Rover

The Range Rover is the default choice for so many buyers looking to be transported in the utmost luxury. And rightly so - it feels incredibly special, and its ability to travel practically anywhere is a bonus.

14Estate Car

The popularity of crossovers means that estate car is waning, but if you need easy access and lots of space they are still the best choice. Low load decks and big, wide boot floors are the order of the day here.

BMW 5 Series Touring

An impeccable interior along with a huge boot and impressive towing capacity means the BMW 5 Series Touring could make you think twice about buying that SUV. It might be pricey, but you get what you pay for.

Ford Mondeo Estate

If you're after an estate that's great to drive, the Ford Mondeo Estate is the choice for you. It's available with a wide range of economical engines, while its interior is spacious and modern.


The SEAT Leon ST feels almost identical to drive as the regular hatchback model - and that's a good thing. It looks good, too - while the boot is huge. Combine all these positives with an affordable price tag, and it's no wonder our readers love the SEAT Leon ST.

Skoda Octavia Estate

With a bigger boot than many cars in the category above, the Skoda Octavia Estate is an extremely practical choice. Its interior feels classier than you'd expect for the price, while the technology is typical Volkswagen Group - by which we mean seamless.

Skoda Superb Estate

If you cover lots of miles but don't want to splash out on a premium car, the Skoda Superb really is a superb choice (sorry...). It's massively practical and its interior belies its budget roots. We like it a lot.


Popularity of one-tonne pick-ups has exploded in recent years, with buyers attracted by their rugged, go anywhere nature. However, while almost every manufacturer now has a pick-up in its ranks, only a select few make it on to the shortlist for a 2019 Honest John Award.  

Isuzu D-MAX

Powerful, well made and simply laid out inside, the Isuzu D-Max has a workmanlike simplicity that is perfectly matched for hard work. All boast a one-tonne payload, while towing limits exceed three tonnes.

Mitsubishi L200

The Mitsubishi L200 is surprisingly refined at speed, making it a superb pick-up for longer trips. Its electronic four-wheel-drive system, meanwhile, means it's very capable off road.

Nissan Navara

The Navara is one of the most comfortable and refined pick-ups money can buy, while its lofty economy figures also make it one of the most affordable when it comes to running costs. Factor in its stylish exterior and large lay area and it's easy to see why so many people rate the Navara. 

Toyota Hilux 

If you're looking for a robust pick-up, you could do a lot worse than opting for a Hilux. It can tow a hefty 3.5 tonnes while its load bay is usefully large. It's also very good off road.

Volkswagen Amarok

The Amarok is easy to drive, rides well and has a comfortable quality interior that matches the best of Volkswagen's car range. It's very easy to forget you're in a pick-up truck and comes with a 3.0-litre diesel engine that strikes a balance between economy and efficiency.

16Small Van

Need a capable van, but don't want your profits to vanish in a haze of running costs? A small van has plenty to offer, with the best providing outstanding practicality and rock bottom fuel bills. 

Fiat Doblo Cargo

The little Doblo might look compact on the inside, but it's huge inside. And that's what matters most for van drivers. Combine its excellent practicality with frugal diesel engines and it is easy to see why our readers rate it so highly.

Ford Transit Connect

The Transit Connect drives like a good family car. It has some clever details too, like folding front seats and a hatch in the bulkhead for carrying long planks of wood and copper pipes. Fuel economy is also affordable, which means you get the best of all worlds with this fantastic Ford. 

Mercedes-Benz Citan

All versions drive well with nicely weighted steering and a comfortable ride. The Citan is one of the most expensive vans around, but it does feel a cut above the competition in terms of refinement.

Nissan NV200

The NV200 got a real boost in 2014 with an all-electric version, which manages to lose no loading capacity despite the zero emissions drivetrain. Light steering and a tight turning circle mean that it's well suited to town driving, making it ideal for courier drops.

Volkswagen Caddy

You get what you pay for with the Caddy - it's more refined and has a higher quality interior than rivals. There's a strong engine line-up, too, while four-wheel-drive is also available.

17Medium Van

The medium size van is the bread and butter of the building and delivery trades. Not only must it be comfortable and practical, but a rewarding drive is also a must. Which van will prove victorious in 2019?

Ford Transit Custom

The Ford Transit Custom is one of the UK's best-selling vans and it doesn't take long behind the wheel to understand the universal appeal. All are good to drive, cheap to run and capable of shifting payloads in excess of 1.4 tonnes.

Peugeot Expert

The Peugeot Expert is surprisingly car-like to drive, with nimble handling aiding low-speed maneuvering around town. It's very efficient, too, while its ability to tow 2.5 tonnes might come in handy.

Renault Trafic

The Trafic majors on versatility, with an excellent range of engines and bodystyles. The cabin itself is very comfortable, with excellent levels of refinement. It’s also quiet and refined, which means it’s easy to forget you're driving a van when on the motorway.

Vauxhall Vivaro

The Vivaro is a real success story for the British van industry. It offers durability, refinement and a smooth, quiet ride. Neat features like the opening bulkhead also allow longer items, such as pipes or planks of wood, to be carried without having the rear doors open.

Volkswagen Transporter

Like its illustrious ancestors, the latest Transporter is universally brilliant, thanks to a broad range of bodystyles that appeals to everyone from tradesmen to surfers. The diesel and petrol engines are capable and payloads are broad, which means all T6s pull their weight at the business end of things. 

18Large Van

Built for hard work and heavy loads, these are the vans that you. But which model will take the ultimate commercial vehicle prize in 2019?

Fiat Ducato

Drivers are keen on the Ducato for its high-set driving position and generous amounts of storage inside the cab. Throw in good levels of equipment, generous maximum payloads and a tight turning circle and it's a solid workhorse of a van.

Ford Transit

Backbone of Britain. That was the previous Transit's claim to fame and, as Ford's third best selling model in the UK after the Fiesta and Focus, one that was very true. It's practical, functional and robust, but also impressively refined.


MAN's relatively new to the van market, but its background as a commercial vehicle maker (concentrating on trucks and coaches) gives TGE buyers access to its comprehensive dealer network. The TGE is closely related to the Volkswagen Crafter, sharing its strong engine line-up and useful technology.

Peugeot Boxer

Diversity is a key appeal of the Boxer and there are also dropside and tipper conversions, as well as chassis cabs, Luton and minibus models. That's why this van remains one of the most popular choices for UK operators.

Renault Master

The Renault Master's versatility is one of its strongest features. The sliding side door on the Master is one of the widest on the market and it boasts some of the lowest rear sill heights. A comfortable cabin and economical engines make it one of the best large vans you can buy.

Previous Winners

Honest John Car of the Year 2018: Skoda Kodiaq

The most popular car with HonestJohn.co.uk readers in 2018, the Kodiaq took the ultimate prize with owners praising Skoda’s affordable SUV for its style, comfort, practicality and low fuel costs. Easy to drive and great value, the Kodiaq is the benchmark by which all SUVs should be judged.

Honest John Car of the Year 2017: SEAT Ateca

The SEAT Ateca was the Honest John Car of the Year 2017. Comfortable, refined and impressive value for money, the Ateca impressed the HonestJohn.co.uk team, scoring a maximum five stars out of five. In short, no other crossover comes close to matching the Ateca on price, spec or performance.

Honest John Car of the Year 2016: Suzuki Vitara

The Suzuki Vitara was the Honest John Car of the Year 2016. Based on reader page impressions more HonestJohn.co.uk readers clicked the Suzuki Vitara review than any other car on the site. Practical, well built and honest when it comes to fuel consumption, the Vitara ticks all of the boxes with a dash of style and sense of occasion. 


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