IT is awards time again as soap and film stars parade around on various red carpets… but here’s an award where the car is the star.

As a member of the Northern Group of Motoring Writers yours truly was this year on the judging panel to pick our 2023 car of the year… and the overall winner was revealed at the recent Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders northern drive day event.

Delighted representatives of MG stepped forward at SMMT north to accept the award for their brilliant new MG4 electric car.

The coveted miner’s lamp trophy was presented to MG’s event marketing manager Jasmine Jiang by our chairman Andrew Evans with press officer Heather Webb receiving the traditional celebratory bottle of bubbly.

While undercutting all its rivals on price by some way (from £36,495) the MG4 XPower has two electric motors and four-wheel drive with an impressive 429bhp meaning 0-60mph comes up in less than four seconds yet it is easy to live with, is well appointed and has decent range and charging times. It also has an impressive seven year warranty and the MG4 electric range starts from £26,995 or £29,495 for the extended range version.

Other category winners and Car of the Year finalists this year were the BMW Seven Series, Hyundai Kona, Kia EV6 GT, Lexus RX and Volkswagen ID Buzz.

The SMMT day gave motoring journalists from across the north a chance to try out the latest models from major manufacturers and I got behind the wheel of several shiny new motors from fun small car the Toyota Aygo up to big SUVs like the Nissan X-Trail – full reviews coming soon.

But in a clear sign of the times the majority of vehicles there were electric powered showcasing just how far the sector has come on in recent years and outlining the future for motoring here in the UK.

By Motoring Editor Steve Howarth