The 1.6-litre dCi Renault Scenic, a diesel model fitted with fuel-saving Stop-Start technology, took the top honour in the annual awards thanks to its ‘green car rating’.
This included CO2 emissions of 115g/km (delivering free Vehicle Excise Duty for the first year) and fuel economy of 64.2mpg.
However, judges also rated the cars on innovation, design, driving experience and value for money. The winning model in Dynamique TomTom specification, which includes a satellite navigation system, is priced at £18,115.
The judges concluded: "Not only is the new stop-start Renault Scénic well-equipped with all the versatility needed of an MPV, it has great fuel economy and handling – all at a very reasonable price."
The Start-Stop technology in particular was singled out by judges as being one of the innovations seen on many of the award winners in 2011.
The system is designed to save fuel by turning the engine off when the car has been stationary for a certain period of time. It then turns it back on when the driver is ready to move again.
The technology is designed for busy traffic, where the car is forced to regularly stop and start, thus saving fuel that would previously have been wasted.
Dr Ben Lane, Managing Editor of Next Green Car said: "The 2011 winners reflect the latest technologies being used by manufacturers to improve fuel economy and reduce emissions, which range from the clean-diesel innovations such as ‘stop-start’, ‘regen-braking’ and catalysed particulate filters."
The Renault Scenic is available in five-seat and seven-seat configurations, the latter falling under the title of ‘Renault Grand Scenic’.
The 1.6-litre diesel engine was launched in September 2010 and since then, Renault has reported ‘a lot of interest’ in both models, leading to the brand considering the engine for other cars in the Renault range.