HighlightedNorthern Group

Northern Group Car of the Year 2023: Driving Day

The Northern Group of Motoring Writers has held its annual Car of the Year driving day, with members from around the region descending upon the Coniston Hotel near Skipton for the final stage of judging.

It’s the fourth time the event has taken place since the new format was introduced in 2018. The events of 2020-21 made it impossible to stage, but it returned in 2022 to select winner from a brand that has never taken the award before: the Dacia Jogger.

For the 2023 event the format remained roughly the same. All new vehicles launched across the 12-month period from July 1 to June 30th are eligible, with the COTY commitee assembling a longlist of candidates before paring it down to a three-car shortlist for each of six different categories.

The general group membership then voted on the cars in each category — Small, Family, Luxury, SUV, EV, and Fun — to choose a winner in each class via a ranked choice system. Manufacturers of the six winning vehicles were then invited to send an example of each to the Driving Day.

As you can see from the images, our final list of six cars was as follows:

  • Small: Hyundai Kona
  • Family: Volkswagen ID.Buzz
  • Luxury: BMW 7 Series
  • SUV: Lexus RX
  • EV: MG4
  • Fun: Kia EV6 GT

With all six category winners available, a panel of members were able to drive and inspect the vehicles, and discuss their thoughts on each of the cars’ comparative merits throughout the day. It certainly prompted some lively debate this year.

The 15 judges then submitted their votes — ranked from first to sixth — in a secret ballot to the group’s general secretary Alan Domville, who’ll be keeping the winner under his hat until the official announcement.

That will come at the SMMT North Test Day to be held later this year, with the winning manufacturer’s press team — should they be in attendance — awarded the coveted “Arthur” trophy, consisting of an engraved miner’s lamp.