The Kia e-Niro has been named the What Car? Car of the Year 2019, becoming the first electric car to win the award.

What Car? editor Steve Huntingford said the e-Niro stood out because “it addresses the key issues of cost and range that have traditionally prevented many motorists from taking the plunge into EV ownership”. He added that it was a “spacious and practical family SUV with few compromises”.

Kia UK CEO, Paul Philpott, commented: “This marks an important milestone in the Awards as we approach the tipping point where every motorist will be seriously considering buying an electric car as their next car.”

Last year’s winner, the Volvo XC40, was named Family SUV of the Year for the second year running, while the Skoda Octavia reclaimed the family car award.

There were three new categories this year: plug-in hybrid, sports SUV and pick-up, won by the Volvo XC90 T8, Cupra Ateca and Volkswagen Amarok respectively.

The performance and sports car category was split for 2019. The sports car award went to the Alpine A110 - also an Autocar five-star car – and the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio was named Performance Car of the Year.