Mini has driven off with Autocar magazine

The cars have brilliantly echoed the appeal of the Issigonis original, while offering buyers a thoroughly modern design," said Autocar editor Rob Aherne as he presented the award. 

Its aesthetical appeal aside, the MINI has also won plaudits for its manufacturing prowess and contribution to British business.

The MINI production plant in Cowley, Oxford recently applied the last lick of paint on its 500,000th vehicle nearly two years ahead of schedule.

An excited Dr Anton Heiss, managing director of BMW Group Plant Oxford said: "We're delighted to receive such recognition for consistent excellence in the manufacturing of one of Britain's most iconic brands. The real winners of this are Plant Oxford's associates and it's thanks to their hard work, flexibility and commitment to quality that we're here today.