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V90 crowned Scottish Car of the Year 

IT was time to hand out the top motoring honours in Scotland earlier this month at a glittering awards night.

Once again the venue for the Association of Scottish Moto-ring Writers’ Scottish Car of the Year Awards was the superb Dalmahoy Hotel and Country Club on the outskirts of Edinburgh.

There was no shortage of newcomers to the motoring world last year and I, along with fellow members of the ASMW, had the increasingly difficult task in deciding where our votes would go.

It was a tight finish as the votes were counted and the car that emerged champion was Volvo’s sleek and spacious new V90.

The elegant estate fought off 12 other category winners after being named tops in its class to be crowned 2016 Scottish Car of the Year.

ASMW president Stephen Park, right in picture, handed over the trophy – sponsored by Bridge of Weir Leather Com-pany, who also supply the fine Scottish leather for the V90’s interior.

He said: “The judging process this year was difficult due to high standards across all market segments.

“However one car – which was a clear winner in its category – just managed to edge ahead of its opponents to take the top title.

“Be in no doubt, the Volvo V90 is an exceptional machine and one which reshapes the estate car marketplace.

“Members of the ASMW were impressed by the way it marries traditional Volvo family values with a head-turning sense of style, advanced technology, safety, driving dynamics and one of the best cabin environments of any car at any price.

“In short, we reckon it’s the most accomplished new car to be launched this year and one which offers strong appeal in the unique Scottish marketplace.”

On receiving the award, Jon Wakefield, managing director of Volvo Car UK, said: “For the V90 to be crowned not only the Estate Car of the Year but also the overall Scottish Car of the Year is a fantastic achievement.

“Volvo is rightfully proud of its rich estate car heritage, and the V90 successfully continues that lineage.

“It provides all the space and thoughtful practical touches you’d associate with a Volvo estate, along with cutting-edge technology and efficiency, and beautiful design inside and out.”

The SCOTY awards also delivered impressive results for Audi, Ford, Jaguar and Renault, with all four marques scooping double wins.

Not only was the beautifully appointed A4 the top Executive car but the V10-engined R8 – the priciest of the winners – was named best Sports car.

Ford’s Focus RS and Mustang were the ASMW’s favoured Hot Hatch and Drop Top. Meanwhile success for Renault in the Family and Crossover car categories with the Megane and Kadjar respectively is testament to the design and quality of the French firm’s new models.

Leading the charge for Great Britain, Jaguar’s second generation XF and all-new F-PACE – penned under the direction of Scots design boss Ian Callum – were clear champions in both the Luxury and SUV categories.

Mazda continued its recent good run of SCOTY form with a new engine for a revised version of a car which has previously scooped the Family car title.

The 1.5-litre SKYACTIV diesel engine’s credentials were notable enough to win the Diesel title while the MX-5 was named as the ASMW’s best Used Car choice for 2016.

Elsewhere, Suzuki’s big value Baleno impressed the judges greatly – its Boosterjet engine delivering frugal real-world economy – and, also on a clean, green theme, the innovative drivetrains of Hyundai’s IONIQ were enough to make it the top Eco vehicle.

The award for MPV of the Year went to BMW for its 2 Series Grand Tourer premier people mover while McLaren scooped the special Design and Innovation prize for the 570 Sports Series range.

SCOTY category winners: Small: Suzuki Baleno; Family: Renault Megane: Drop Top: Ford Mustang; Executive: Audi A4; Luxury: Jaguar XF; Estate: Volvo V90; Crossover: Renault Kadjar; SUV: Jaguar F-PACE; Diesel: Mazda3 1.5d; Hot Hatch: Ford Focus RS; Sports: Audi R8 V10; MPV: BMW 2 Series Grand Tourer; Used: Mazda MX-5; Design & Innovation: McLaren 570 Sports Series.

The V90 is the 19th winner of the prestigious Scottish Car of the Year award.

Previous winners, from 1998-2015, are Ford Focus, Jaguar S-Type, Audi A2, Jaguar X-Type, Mazda6, Volvo XC90, Peugeot 407, BMW 3 Series, Jaguar XK, Ford Mondeo, Ford Fiesta, Land Rover Discovery 4, Kia Sportage, Range Rover Evoque, Dacia Duster, Volkswagen Golf, Hyundai i10 and Vauxhall Astra.