The Mazda MX-5 has been crowned the overall winner at the UK Car of the Year Awards 2016.

The accolade was given to the latest generation of the world's best-selling sports car which had beat off strong competition from the Volvo XC90 and  Skoda Superb, with the latter taking third place.

Commenting on Mazda's success in the UK Car of the Year Awards, Jeremy Thomson, Mazda Motors UK managing director said: "I'm delighted that the all-new Mazda MX-5 has added another prestigious award to its growing tall of accolades.

"The MX-5 embodies all that is great about our products. Its fun to drive character has earned it a place in the hearts of driving enthusiasts the world over."

The MX-5's huge appeal was underlined by many members of the UK Car of the Year Award judging panel, with CAR's Tim Pollard commentating: "No other car launched in 2015 advanced the class standards so comprehensively: the Mk4 Mazda captures the essence of mX-5ness brilliantly. It's a fabulously polished - and democratic - sports car."

Director of the UK Car of the Year Awards, John Challen said: "With the latest MX-5, Mazda has created the perfect roadster. A lightweight engaging, simplistic and even practical vehicle, which is an absolute pleasure to drive". Fellow director, Alisdair Suttie, commented: "The fourth generation is true to the original spirit of the MX-5: light, nimble and enormous fun."

The Mazda model also took home the Best Open Top Car of the Year gong, with the awards judged by a panel of Britain's most-read motoring journalists, with each judge using their expertise to pick out the top performer in 12 vehicle categories, before deciding the overall winner from their favourites in each category.

Full list of the UK Car of the Year Awards 2016 winners:

  • Best City Car - Smart Forfour
  • Best Supermini - Mazda2
  • Best Small Hatch - Vauxhall Astra
  • Best Family Car - Skoda Superb
  • Best Executive Car - Jaguar XE
  • Best Luxury Car - Skoda Superb Estate
  • Best MPV - Ford S-Max
  • Best SUV - Volvo XC90
  • Best Coupe - Ford Mustang
  • Best Open Top Car - Mazda MX-5
  • Best Performance Car - McLaren 570S

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