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Toyota awards 2022: praise for our cars and people

An absolutely cracking year for Toyota in 2021 resulted in our brand collecting more than 40 awards, with key models such as the all-new Yaris Cross, Proace Electric and GR Yaris being honoured by both critics and motorists alike. With several new models joining the range over the coming 12 months, it’s likely that Toyota will continue its winning streak and claim another raft of awards during 2022.

As our cars, services and people are recognised for their achievements in the automotive industry and beyond, this article will be updated throughout the next 12 months to reflect the growing number of honours bestowed upon us during the calendar year.

GR86 scoops ‘Fun Car of the Year’ by Northern Group of Motoring Writers

In their annual awards ceremony, the Toyota GR86 has been recognised as the most fun car of the year according to the Northern Group of Motoring Writers.

James Fossdyke, part of the Northern Group’s COTY committee, sang the praises of the GR86: ” Like its predecessor, the GR86 impressed with its sublime handling, as well as improvements in refinement and everyday usability. The result is one of the all-time great sports cars, with balance and poise to rival cars that cost twice as much, as well as classic sports coupe looks. With prices starting at around £30,000, the GR86 is the bargain of the century and a deserving winner of the Northern Group of Motoring Writers’ Fun Car of the Year 2022.”

Double win for Toyota Gazoo Racing by Autosport

Autosport has crowned both Kalle Rovanpera and the Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 in their 2022 awards ceremony, a huge achievement for the WRC Team.

Kalle Rovanperä

Speaking of the vehicle, judges at Autosport mentioned “The class of the WRC field at the start of the Rally1 era, taking Toyota to a clean sweep of world titles, with Rovanpera romping to six wins and Ogier adding another triumph with the final round still to come. A 1-2-3-4 in Kenya demonstrated its superiority against the rest.”

As for the youngest-ever WRC champion, Autosport commented “Kalle dominated his way to a maiden WRC title, which looked assured halfway through the year when he notched up his fifth win in the first seven rounds. Small blips in Belgium and Greece delayed his coronation, which came with victory in New Zealand.”

DrivingElectric Award for the Toyota Proace City Electric. 

The Toyota Proace City Electric has picked up another accolade, being named Best Small Electric Van in the DrivingElectric Awards. The honour saw the battery-electric compact van being described as the “no-brainer” choice for its all-round qualities. 

Announcing the award, DrivingElectric Editor Richard Ingram said: “The Toyota Proace City Electric… is our Best Small Electric Van for 2023. Easy to drive, versatile and quick to charge, it makes the switch to electric a no-brainer for so many business owners.” 

GR86 crowned Top Gear’s Sports Car of the Year

The Toyota GR86 has carried off Top Gear’s Sports Car of the Year award, the magazine declaring itself “enraptured” by the sell-out coupe.

The accolade continues a winning bloodline, coming 10 years on from GT86, the model’s predecessor, having been named Top Gear’s Car of the Year and two years after GR Yaris claimed the Hot Hatch of the Year title.

Jack Rix, Top Gear Editor, said: “Forget poor-man’s-Porsche jibes – this thing flew out of showrooms quicker than a GT3 RS. It deserved to. The GR86 is delightful, a blend of mildly improved ingredients that meld together for a genius whole. We’re enraptured that it exists.”

Success for Toyota Hilux and Corolla Commercial in the What Car? Van and Commercial Vehicle Awards

The Toyota Professional range of light commercial vehicles has again proved its strength in depth with success in the What Car? Van and Commercial Vehicle Awards. Hilux took the honour of Best Commercial Pick-up and Corolla Commercial was named the Best Car-based Van – the first award for the British-built model since its launch earlier this year.

According to the judges, Hilux has unrivalled strengths as a workhorse, while Corolla Commercial is acclaimed as the best model in its class.

What Car? assessed each model on its performance as a working vehicle, taking into account qualities such as payload and off-road capability rather than ride comfort. Driveability around town and on faster roads was also considered.

Commenting on the award for Hilux, Darren Moss, What Car? Deputy Editor, said: “No pick-up truck rival is as capable as a working vehicle as the Toyota Hilux… it’s as adept at moving you and your family over hill and dale as it is hauling cargo.” He also praised Hilux’s price tag and its “rock-solid” residual value, concluding: “For load-lugging in the rough stuff, there can be no better companion.”

Corolla Commercial, developed and manufactured at Toyota’s Burnaston plant in Derbyshire, broke new ground last year as the market’s first full hybrid electric van. Moss expressed unequivocal praise: “Toyota has created the best car-based van round. It’s more spacious than rivals inside and it has an interior which feels built to last. Plus, thanks to its hybrid set-up, it also has the potential to lower your fuel bills.”

Aygo X wins News UK City/Small Car of the Year

The Toyota Aygo X has won its UK first award by winning The Sunday Times City/Small Car of the Year in their annual awards ceremony.

Toyota Aygo X reviews

Discussing the Aygo X, The Sunday Times judges noted, “City cars prove big doesn’t mean better, with compact proportions, impressive manoeuvrability and efficient powertrains.

The Toyota Aygo X has all of those things but also impressed us in terms of practicality and style, with a commanding driving position and slightly raised ride height, allowing it to scale every sleeping policeman and conquer every pothole.”

Toyota’s Rachel Shepherd wins an Inspiring Automotive Women Award

Rachel Shepherd, Toyota (GB) General Manager, People and Workplace Experience, has been named a winner in the Automotive 30% Club’s Inspiring Automotive Women Awards.

The awards celebrate women who help women to join, progress and remain in the sector. They recognise the critical role women can play in helping companies to build inclusive cultures, increase female representation and reap the benefits of a gender-balanced business. This year the club received 279 nominations from 34 UK businesses.

Shepherd, who has been at Toyota (GB) (TGB) since 1999, was honoured by the award judges for her collaborative and consultative approach to developing people, including devoting time to personally coach and support individuals. She plays a leading role in driving the company’s development as a first-class employer with an inclusive culture and a considerate, caring environment. She has worked on many initiatives to further the careers of women at TGB, including the introduction of a ‘women on the verge of brilliance’ development programme and policy development in areas such as menopause.

Toyota Prius and Hilux win Car Buyer Used Car Awards

Distinctly different Toyota models have been recognised in the 2023 Car Buyer Used Car Awards, with honours for the hybrid pioneer Prius and the “invincible” Hilux pick-up. 

Customers for all used Toyota vehicles up to 10 years old or with up to 100,000 miles on the clock can take advantage of a manufacturer’s warranty package that provides 12 months’/10,000 miles’ cover each time they take their car or van to an official Toyota workshop for a qualifying service. The warranty is provided at no extra cost, up to a limit of 10 years/100,000 miles. Terms and conditions apply; full details are available here. 

Honours for Proace City and Hilux at the Parkers Awards

The Toyota Proace City has been awarded Best Small Van for the third consecutive year and the Toyota Hilux has won Pickup of the Year at the 2023 Parkers Awards. 

Keith Adams, Editor of Parkers, said: “The Proace City’s winning ways continue, taking top spot in this category for the third year in a row. It’s great to drive, with efficient, refined diesel engines and a comfortable cab. And the best models will carry over a ton of payload, which makes it highly useful for such a small van. We’ve singled it out for its amazing aftersales package, which includes up to 10 years of warranty cover, plus impressive dealer support. This is a great small van that’s elevated over its siblings thanks to the ownership experience.”

Turning to the Toyota Hilux he added: “Few vehicles are as at home in hardcore terrain, yet the Hilux is greatly improved on road in recent years thanks to its powerful 2.8-litre diesel engine and suspension that has been refined to improve its ride. There is a GR Sport model coming at the end of 2022 that will add more styling flourishes to the already smart top-trim versions. On top of all this, is the up-to-10-year warranty – both a sign that Toyota has confidence in its products, but also a reassurance that the brand will have your back should things go wrong.”

The Toyota Yaris has been awarded Best Small Car for the second year running at the Business Car Awards.

Martyn Collins, Editor, Business Car magazine, said “Nothing launched over the last 12 months could really match the Toyota’s package of efficiency from its hybrid drivetrain, plus its full suite of safety systems. The Yaris also looks good, drives well, and boasts impressive residual values – so it holds on to the crown for a second year.

Other models highly commended during the evening were Yaris Cross in the Best Compact SUV category and RAV4 in the Best Medium SUV category.

Toyota Yaris wins Affordable Hybrid Car of the Year in the Auto Express New Car Awards

Toyota Yaris

In 2012, the Toyota Yaris became the UK and Europe’s first hybrid electric small hatchback. Ten years on and it is still very much the leader in its class, as witnessed by another title to add to its tally – Affordable Hybrid Car of the Year in the Auto Express New Car Awards. 

Steve Fowler, Auto Express Editor in Chief, said: “Toyota’s long persistence with hybrid technology has really started to pay off as the wider industry has moved towards electrification and no car demonstrates this better than the Yaris. It’s the baby of Toyota’s hybrid range and yet it’s the model that feels furthest ahead of the curve in its class, delivering economy that none of its rivals can match.” 

While Yaris Hybrid led the way, Auto Express also commended no fewer than three other Toyota models: Aygo X in the city car category; Yaris Cross in the Small SUV of the Year class; and Hilux, in contention for Pick-up of the Year. 

Mairi Gordon of Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK wins manufacturing category of Autocar Great Women in the British Car Industry awards

Mairi Gordon from Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK (TMUK) has won the manufacturing category of the Autocar Great Women in the British Car Industry awards, while Paula Cooper, Liz Mehdevy and Sharon Wright, from Toyota (GB), were named in the prestigious Top 100 list.

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