The new Volkswagen Golf, Eos coupé convertible and forthcoming new Golf GTI have claimed top awards at this year's What Car? Awards.

In a glittering awards ceremony, held at the prestigious London Grosvenor House Hotel this evening, the new Volkswagen Golf – which was launched on 6 January in the UK – won the prize for the Best Small Family Car.  This result means that the Golf has now held this title for three consecutive years.  The award went to the new Golf SE 1.4-litre TSI 122 PS 5dr model.

In presenting the honour, Steve Fowler, Group Editor of What Car? commented: ‘It takes a special car to win the Small Family Car of the Year award three years running – and the Volkswagen Golf is exactly that.  You can thank evolution; this is the sixth-generation Golf, which takes the excellent fifth-generation model as its basis, and polishes every part until its sparkle would make Mr Sheen jealous. … Whatever you need your car to do, the Golf does it – and brilliantly, too.  That's why we believe it's the best small family car you can buy.'

volkswagen Golf GT

The Eos coupé convertible (Sport 2.0-litre TSI model) retained the honour of Best Open-Top Car for the third year running against some stiff competition.  Featuring an advanced five-piece folding roof the Eos combines the style of a convertible with the security and practicality of a coupé.

Steve Fowler commented: ‘While the Porsche Boxster S is a sensational sports car, and the Mazda MX-5 offers fresh-air fun at a low price, neither can compete with the Volkswagen's combination of driving pleasure, everyday practicality and affordability. … Volkswagen's convertible is a cracking car to buy, then, as well as a hoot to own. What more could you ask for?'

Volkswagen Eos

The new Golf GTI, which was revealed to the public at the Paris Motor Show in September and will go on sale in the UK in the second half of 2009, was honoured with the What Car? Reader Award for the most exciting new car of the year.  This is voted for by the readers of

Chris Craft, Director of Volkswagen UK said: ‘I'm proud that three of our key models have been honoured here tonight.  The new Golf is vital to Volkswagen's success, particularly in the current economic climate and this is a great accolade for the car as UK sales begin.

‘I am also very excited about the award for the new GTI.  Any honour which is voted for by the car-buying public is particularly important to us in gauging reaction to our vehicles.  These awards and new products place Volkswagen in a strong position for 2009 in what promises to be a challenging market,' he added.

Volkswagen Golf GTI Concept