The new BMW 5 Series has been made What Car? Car of the Year for 2017 at the 40th annual What Car? Awards.

Resetting the class benchmarks for handling and refinement, the latest Five is even more efficient than its predecessor. Its cabin incorporates technology and a sense of luxury that would normally be associated with much more expensive cars, a fact supported by the BMW鈥檚 victory in the Awards鈥?Luxury Car of the Year class, where it was up against luxury stalwarts Mercedes-Benz and Rolls-Royce.

鈥淭he BMW 5 Series is no stranger to success at the What Car? Awards,?said What Car? editor Steve Huntingford. 鈥淚t鈥檚 something of a dynasty that has always stood for excellence, but the latest model moves things on again in all the areas that matter most to buyers.?/p>

BMW senior vice-president Hildegard Wortmann collected the Car of the Year Award at the London Park Lane event. 鈥淔or the BMW 5 Series to win the prestigious 鈥楥ar of the Year鈥?award is an honour and testament to the hard work that goes into producing one of BMW鈥檚 core models,?commented the BMW Brand senior vice-president.

鈥淭he BMW 5 Series is a brand-shaping saloon and in times of rapid change within the automotive industry we believe the seventh generation model points the way into the future. It is a truly outstanding car and I am very grateful to What Car? for this great recognition.?/p>

In other Awards classes, two cars in the white-hot SUV sector came in for special praise from the judges, with the new Seat Ateca taking the Small SUV of the Year prize and Skoda鈥檚 Kodiaq collecting the Large SUV of the Year gong.

In collaboration with Thatcham, What Car? gave its Safety Award to the Toyota Prius and its Nexcel-sponsored Technology award to the Peugeot 3008 for its i-Cockpit interior layout.

鈥淲hile the 5 Series is a tour de force, the list of category winners demonstrates that an outstanding car has never been more accessible,?said Huntingford. 鈥淔or those looking to change their car in 2017, they need look no further than the What Car? Car of the Year winners.?/p>

What Car? readers had their say in the Awards too, nominating the Honda Civic Type R as the most exciting 2017 launch. The British-built hot hatch, which goes on sale in the second half of the year\u001F, beat the Jaguar I-Pace and Lexus LC 500 in the Reader Award poll.

It鈥檚 been a busy year for Haymarket鈥檚 automotive portfolio, with What Car? launching a new website and online car buying service and its sister title Autocar creating a new 鈥榯op 100 women in the British automotive industry鈥?listing.

The full list can be viewed below.

WHAT CAR? CAR OF THE YEAR AWARDS 2017 WINNERS

CITY CAR

Less than £8000 - Suzuki Celerio 1.0 SZ2

£8000-£10,000 - Skoda Citigo 1.0 60 SE 5dr

More than £10,000 - Hyundai i10 1.2 Premium SE

WINNER - Hyundai i10 1.2 Premium SE

SMALL CAR

Less than £12,000 - Dacia Sandero 0.9 TCe Ambiance

£12,000-£15,000 - Skoda Fabia 1.2 TSI 90 SE

More than £15,000 - Mini 5-Door Cooper Chili Media

WINNER - Skoda Fabia 1.2 TSI 90 SE

FAMILY CAR

Less than £18,000 - Vauxhall Astra 1.6 CDTi 110 Design

£18,000-£20,000 - Seat Leon 1.0 TSI Ecomotive 115 SE Technology

More than £20,000 - Audi A3 Sportback 1.4 TFSI 150 Sport

WINNER - Audi A3 Sportback 1.4 TFSI 150 Sport

HOT HATCH

Less than £15,000 - Suzuki Swift Sport 3dr

£15,000-£25,000 - Ford Fiesta ST-2 3dr

More than £25,000 - BMW M140i 3dr auto

WINNER - Ford Fiesta ST-2 3dr

SMALL SUV

Less than £15,000 - Suzuki Vitara 1.6 SZ4

£15,000-£25,000 - Seat Ateca 1.4 EcoTSI 150 SE

More than £25,000 - Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0 TDI 150 SE Navigation

WINNER - Seat Ateca 1.4 EcoTSI 150 SE

LARGE SUV

Less than £25,000 - Mazda CX-5 2.2D 150 SE-L Nav

£25,000-£30,000 - Skoda Kodiaq 2.0 TDI 150 4x4 SE 7st

More than £30,000 - Land Rover Discovery Sport 2.0 TD4 180 SE Tech auto

WINNER - Skoda Kodiaq 2.0 TDI 150 4x4 SE 7st

LUXURY SUV

Less than £50,000 - Porsche Macan Diesel S

£50,000-£70,000 - Audi Q7 3.0 TDI 272 quattro SE

More than £70,000 - Range Rover 3.0 TDV6 Vogue

WINNER - Audi Q7 3.0 TDI 272 quattro SE

MPV

Less than £20,000 - Citroën C3 Picasso 1.2 Puretech 110 Edition

£20,000-£26,000 - Volkswagen Touran 1.6 TDI 115 SE

More than £26,000 - Ford Galaxy 2.0 TDCi 150 Zetec

WINNER - Volkswagen Touran 1.6 TDI 115 SE

ESTATE CAR

Less than £18,000 - Skoda Fabia Estate 1.2 TSI 90 SE

£18,000-£25,000 - Skoda Superb Estate 2.0 TDI 150 SE Technology

More than £25,000 - Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate E 220 d SE

WINNER - Skoda Superb Estate 2.0 TDI 150 SE Technology

ELECTRIC CAR

Less than £20,000 - Renault Zoe Q90 Z.E. 40 Dynamique Nav

£20,000-£40,000 - BMW i3 94Ah

More than £40,000 - Tesla Model S 75D

WINNER - Renault Zoe Q90 Z.E. 40 Dynamique Nav

EXECUTIVE CAR

Less than £25,000 - Skoda Superb 2.0 TDI 150 SE Technology

£25,000-£30,000 - Audi A3 Saloon 2.0 TDI 150 Sport

More than £30,000 - Audi A4 3.0 TDI 218 Sport

WINNER - Audi A4 3.0 TDI 218 Sport

LUXURY CAR

Less than £50,000 - BMW 5 Series 520d SE

£50,000-£100,000 - Mercedes-Benz S-Class S 350 d SE L

More than £100,000 - Rolls-Royce Ghost EWB

WINNER - BMW 5 Series 520d SE

CONVERTIBLE

Less than £25,000 - Mazda MX-5 2.0 SE-L Nav

£25,000-£35,000 - Audi A3 Cabriolet 1.4 TFSI 150 Sport

More than £35,000 - Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cabriolet S 500 AMG Line

WINNER - Mazda MX-5 2.0 SE-L Nav

COUPE

Less than £30,000 - Audi TT 1.8 TFSI Sport

£30,000-£50,000 - Audi A5 Coupé 3.0 TDI 218 quattro Sport

More than £50,000 - Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupé S 500 AMG Line

WINNER - Audi TT 1.8 TFSI Sport

SPORTS CAR

Less than £50,000 - Porsche 718 Cayman 2.0

£50,000-£100,000 - Porsche 911 Carrera PDK

More than £100,000 - McLaren 540C

WINNER - Porsche 718 Cayman 2.0

READER AWARD

1st Honda Civic Type R

2nd Jaguar I-Pace

3rd Lexus LC

SAFETY AWARD

1st Toyota Prius

2nd Peugeot 3008

3rd Volkswagen Tiguan

TECHNOLOGY AWARD

1st Peugeot 3008 i-Cockpit

2nd Renault Zoe

3rd Audi SQ7 48V

CAR OF THE YEAR

BMW 5 Series 520d SE