The Dacia Duster SUV has garnered its first award in the UK – before it even hits showrooms – winning the Scottish Car of the Year 2012.
We’ve always had problems with cars winning ‘Best Car’ awards when they’re not even on sale – like the 2013 Range Rover winning the Sunday Times top gong – and even more so when they offer nothing better but at a higher price – like the Nissan LEAF winning the COTY Award in 2011.
Top car awards should be for cars that are available for buyers to walk in and grab from their local dealer, and they must bring something that’s not just new, but better too.
And it’s doubtless the price that swayed the Scottish journalists (the Dacia Duster SUV costs from just £8995) that voted the Duster as best overall car in their 2012 awards – and voted it best SUV and best Budget buy – with the Scottish love of parsimony. But at least it’s a car that journalists have driven (unlike the Times award for the 2013 Range Rover which was based on a passenger ride) and know offers startling value, even if it’s all a bit agricultural by modern standards. Still, very well done to Dacia.
Elsewhere in the Scottish car gongs jolly last night there were wins for the Volvo V40 in the Executive Hatchback category (well deserved – a cracking car) and the Hyundai i30 grabbed Best Family Car and the i30 Tourer Best Estate Car (both well deserved too).
The Citroen DS5 Hybrid4 won Best Eco Car, the new VW Up! was voted best Compact, the Porsche Boxster was Best Convertible, the Jaguar C-X16 grabbed Best Concept, the Toyota GT84 Best Coupe and Vauxhall grabbed a hat-trick with wins for the Astra VXR as the Sporting winner, Vauxhall Ampera as the best Electric car and the Vauxhall Zafira best MPV. Mazda and Volvo shared the Safety Award.
And, perhaps most important of all, the assembled throng of Motoring Journalists and Automotive PRs had a jolly old time with kilts, haggis and wee drams abounding.