The 39 finalists (3 in each of 13 categories) of the 2019/20 Cars.co.za Consumer Awards – powered by WesBank have been announced. They were selected out of 65 vehicles that Cars.co.za’s extended editorial team agreed were the best derivatives available in the South African new passenger vehicle market on 1 September 2019.
The #CarsAwards – now in its 5th year – was conceived to be South Africa’s definitive automotive awards programme and it has steadily grown in stature, reach and influence with the support of WesBank, South Africa’s largest vehicle finance provider. The 13 category winners and Brand of the Year recipient will be announced at a glittering awards ceremony in Johannesburg in February 2020.
VW again leads the field, but 1st appearance for Haval
To determine the finalists, Cars.co.za’s extended editorial team trimmed the list of semi-finalists from 5 to 3 contenders per category by scoring each of them against specific pillars of success. As a result, 17 brands are represented in the list of finalists, with Volkswagen leading the nominations with 7 derivatives, followed by BMW, Ford and Toyota (4 apiece), Mazda and Suzuki (3 apiece).
Having previously made the semi-finals of the #CarsAwards with its H2, Haval has gone one better with its H9 adventure SUV.
Significantly, fledgling Chinese SUV brand Haval makes its first appearances in the final stage of the #CarsAwards, while Jaguar and Land Rover return to the list after failing to make the last round in 2018/19.
Because candidates were selected from the entire new passenger-vehicle market (as opposed to only models launched during the past 12 months), there are eight defending category winners among the finalists, including the Mercedes-Benz A-Class, Toyota Fortuner, Volvo XC60, Volkswagen Polo, Amarok and Arteon, Range Rover Velar and Suzuki Swift, although in the case of the latter two, in different derivatives to last year.
A total of 16 finalists from last year’s programme will return for another round of judging in the 2019/20 programme, including the BMW X3 xDrive20d M-Sport, Mercedes-Benz C300 AMG Line and Volkswagen Golf GTI. There also different (or updated) versions of the BMW M2, Ford Everest and Fiesta, Mazda2, Volkswagen Polo Vivo and Volvo XC40.
2019/20 #CarsAwards finalists in the 13 categories are (click on the headings for details on the categories and finalists):
Will the Suzuki Swift defend its title in the Budget Car category with its recently-launched 1.2 GLX derivative?
- Kia Picanto 1.2 Style
- Suzuki Swift 1.2 GLX
- Volkswagen Polo Vivo Trendline
- Ford Fiesta 1.0 Trend Auto
- Mazda2 1.5 Individual Auto
- Volkswagen Polo 1.0 TSI Comfortline
The Mercedes-Benz A200 AMG Line will face off with the Golf GTI yet again, but could the new Mazda3 2.0 Astina spring a surprise?
- Mazda3 2.0 Astina
- Mercedes-Benz A200 AMG-Line
- Volkswagen Golf GTI
- BMW X3 xDrive20d M-Sport
- Range Rover Evoque D180 R-Dynamic SE
- Volvo XC60 D5 R-Design
The Renault Duster faces a stern test against the updated Suzuki Vitara and all-new Volkswagen T-Cross.
- Renault Duster 1.5 dCi Prestige
- Suzuki Vitara 1.4T GLX Auto
- Volkswagen T-Cross 1.0 TSI 85kW Highline R-Line
- Mazda CX-5 2.0 Dynamic Auto
- Peugeot 3008 2.0 HDI Allure
- Toyota RAV4 2.0 GX Auto
Toyota will be hoping that the Fortuner will win the Adventure SUV category of the #CarsAwards for a 3rd consecutive time.
- Ford Everest 2.0 Bi-Turbo 4WD Limited
- Haval H9 Luxury
- Toyota Fortuner 2.8GD-6 4x4 Auto
- Audi Q8 55 TFSI Quattro
- BMW X5 xDrive30d M-Sport
- Range Rover Velar D300 R-Dynamic SE
The recently launched Audi Q3 will face off with the Jaguar E-Pace and Volvo XC40 in the new-for 2019 Crossover category.
- Audi Q3 35 TFSI S Line
- Jaguar E-Pace D180 AWD R-Dynamic
- Volvo XC40 D4 R-Design
- Ford Ranger 2.0 BiTDi Wildtrak 4x4 Auto
- Toyota Hilux 2.8 GD-6 Legend 50 4x4 Auto
- Volkswagen Amarok 3.0 V6 TDI Highline 4Motion
The Volkswagen Arteon will renew its rivalry with the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, but will it defeat the all-new BMW 3 Series?
- BMW 320d Sport Line
- Mercedes-Benz C300 AMG Line
- Volkswagen Arteon 2.0 TSI 4Motion R-Line
- Mini Cooper S Sports-Auto
- Suzuki Swift Sport 1.4T
- Volkswagen Polo GTI
The BMW M2 is a previous category winner, but the Competition M-DCT won't have it easy against the Ford Mustang and Toyota GR Supra.
- BMW M2 Competition M-DCT
- Ford Mustang GT 5.0
- Toyota Supra 3.0T
Next stop: Gerotek!
The next phase of the programme will take place on October 31 and November 1, when all the finalist vehicles will be judged back-to-back (against the rivals in their categories) during a 2-day test session at Gerotek by a diverse judging panel, which includes the experienced motoring journalists of Cars.co.za’s extended editorial team, plus 14 respected and influential guest judges with a broad base of expertise.
The 21-member combined judging panel will put the finalists (including the Volkswagen Amarok) through their paces at Gerotek.
However, the findings of the 21 judges will only count for half of the finalists’ total scores – the remaining 50% will be based on rankings that the respective vehicles’ brands achieved in the Cars.co.za Ownership Satisfaction Survey, which is conducted in partnership with leading data specialists Lightstone Consumer. The data incorporates feedback from thousands of vehicle owners, based on their experiences of their own vehicles, which are less than five years old and serviced through franchised outlets.
“The #CarsAwards is designed to be a guide for all new passenger vehicle buyers, not only those who follow motoring publications," says Cars.co.za Consumer Experience Manager Hannes Oosthuizen. “With 50% of the final scores determined by brands’ rating in the survey, a vehicle only really stands a very good chance of winning if it is a good product in the eyes of the judges and if its brand delivers solid after-sales service.
In the 2018/19 programme, the experiences and perceptions of South African vehicle owners determined the final outcomes of 5 of the 13 #CarsAwards categories. And, importantly, their feedback will completely determine the 2019/20 Brand of the Year, which has been won by Toyota and Suzuki before (each of which has won it twice). SA's best brands for after-sales service. Have your say...
To access more information about the programme (including categories, judges and finalists) visit http://www.carsawards.co.za