"Our award winners are setting standards for the industry"
Editor Graham Hope thinks that the pool of winners at the 2016 Auto Express New Car Awards was the strongest yet
Voting can be a hugely emotive process, as the past couple of weeks here in the UK have demonstrated. I won't pretend the sessions we held to decide our New Car Awards winners of 2016 were quite as tumultuous as the Brexit debate, but as you might imagine there were some pretty strong opinions expressed.
The talent pool in the current new car market is particularly deep, so picking the models we consider to be the best on sale was far from easy.
And of course, we fully recognise how important it is to get the decisions right. We're in the privileged position of being first to drive every new model that appears, and we know many of you wait until we've delivered our verdict before choosing whether to add a car to your consideration list.
That's with good reason. In the past year alone, we have put around 530 cars to the test, driving 250,000 miles in the process. So we've left no stone unturned to find the cream of the crop.
What was clear when considering the merits of this year's contenders is just how quickly the new car market is progressing, with even affordable family models now coming with the kind of advanced tech that was unthinkable a few years ago.
We think the package of champion cars we've put together in 21 classes is the strongest we have ever assembled. And the icing on the cake? Our Car of the Year is a true home-grown star, developed and produced here in Britain.
As an award-winning title ourselves - Auto Express was crowned Media Brand of the Year at last week's PPA Awards, the publishing Oscars - we know how important awards are in recognising excellence in every industry. But we'd love to know what you think about our selections - so please do get in touch in the comments section below.
You can see the full lineup of award-winners in the Auto Express New Car Awards here...