The essential tool of our trade is the humble motor car. The following is a useful guide to this year’s shortlist of eight cars which have made it onto the Intelligent Instructor Awards 2021 shortlist.

At present, the forecourts are still dominated by the traditional combustion-engined models. However, with the government banning the sale of such fossil-fuelled motors by 2030, it’s a changing landscape.

In many ways, this is a very exciting time. Not only the new technology being developed to produce EVs, but there’s also Hydrogen making up ground from the back of the grid.

Then there is the investment in semi-autonomous driving abilities, driver assistance and even fully autonomous vehicles.

While this is a burgeoning area of evolution, usually only available to the few adventurous and wealthy motorists, the trickle-down effect means many technological milestones are appearing on cars throughout the more obvious range. Thinking back just a decade or two, the changes in design and drivability have been incredible.

In The Driving Seat

For the ADI, we spend most of our days in the car (usually, yes at the moment that is a real bone of contention, but let’s not dwell on it too long). It means we are fairly qualified judges hen it comes to deciding what cars are good at present, especially for training in. Your views are a great source of help to your colleagues and peers.

The Intelligent Instructor Driving Instructor Car of the Year is a very important category in our annual awards. It is why we would love you all to take a few minutes and have you say. The shortlist has been announced, as it has for other important areas of your day to day work. Please take the time to vote here.

The Experts

Sticking with training vehicles, David Motton, editor of FirstCar and long-serving expert motoring journalist, has helped draft the shortlist and gives his opinion on these who have made it. Have a read, then vote via this link.

What makes the Intelligent Instructor Awards so important is that they are fully independent, utilising a judging panel made up of experts from across all sides of our industry plus we are relying on you for teh very first time to help choose our winners in certain categories. The ADI Car of the Year will be solely judged by you, the professional users. Your on the road experience is essential and will help your friends and colleagues choose products going forward, but also help producers and providers improve their products.

So what’s in the showroom and on the glittering forecourt this year?

Ford Fiesta

In a turbulent year for new car sales, the Ford Fiesta emerged as the best-selling new car of 2020. It’s simple to see why. The Fiesta is easy for learners to get to grips with, but fun for instructors when the working day is done. It’s also safe and affordable.

Hyundai i20

The old Hyundai i20 was worthy but a little anonymous. The new i20 is much more eye-catching, yet every bit as sensible. There’s a five-year warranty, an efficient mild-hybrid engine, and plenty of space inside. It’s stacked with standard kit, too, including autonomous emergency braking.

Kia Ceed

The Kia Ceed is another car that wraps a sensible package beneath ‘look at me’ styling. Small enough to avoid intimidating learners, but large enough to be a practical everyday car. The Ceed is handsome and well equipped. A DAB radio, a reversing camera, and smartphone mirroring are all standard features.

MINI Hatch

Ask the average 17-year old which car they’d like to learn in, and there’s a good chance they’d choose the MINI Hatch. The timeless shape is instantly recognisable. It’s pricier than less upmarket rivals, and there are more practical small cars. But who isn’t sucked in by the timeless appeal of a MINI?

Peugeot e-208 07740 583906

One of the new wave of small electric cars, the new Peugeot e-208 sets high standards for ride comfort and interior quality. Being electric, it’s extremely easy to drive, and the range of around 200 miles should easily take care of a day’s lessons. On-trend and ahead of the curve.

Renault Clio

Renault has a strong reputation for safety, which the latest Clio has upheld with a five-star rating from the experts at Euro NCAP. In fact, if you look at the list of safety features and driver aids, the Clio is top of the class. It’s also easy to drive, practical, and very stylish.

Vauxhall Corsa 07740 583906

The perennial driving school favourite is back with a bang. Far more eye-catching than earlier generations, today’s Vauxhall Corsa is more enjoyable to drive while still being an easy car for new drivers to learn the ropes in. It’s well priced, well equipped and an industry stalwart.

Volkswagen Golf

You could argue that the Volkswagen Golf didn’t really need updating, but then today’s eighth-generation is more of an evolution than a revolution. The Golf remains a roomy, sensible, high-quality car. It still drives well, great reliability and has an excellent safety rating from Euro NCAP.

It is up to you! Vote here.