These are the semi-finalists in the Compact Family Car category of the Cars.co.za Consumer Awards – powered by WesBank!
The second annual Cars.co.za Consumer Awards – now powered by WesBank, is underway and the semi-finalists across 13 categories have been chosen. Make sure you visit the Cars.co.za Consumer Awards – powered by WesBank website for all the vehicle and category information and also be sure to follow us on Twitter (@CarsSouthAfrica), Facebook (CarsSA) and Instagram (carssouthafrica) for the latest updates.
The Cars.co.za Ownership Satisfaction Survey, in partnership with leading data specialists, Lightstone Consumer, forms an integral part of the awards programme, with the survey accounting for 50% of the final result in each category. The brand-specific data incorporates feedback from thousands of South African new vehicle owners, based on their experiences of their vehicles (must be less than 5 years old and serviced through franchised outlets).
With household budgets stretched to breaking point, the reasonably affordable modern-day family car has to fulfil a variety of roles – it needs to be compact enough to deal with congested traffic, suitably spacious to cope with the school run and even perform as a weekend getaway machine. Practicality and spaciousness are important considerations, but so are safety, technology, fuel efficiency and a modicum of lifestyle flexibility.
For a car to be considered in this category, the following applies: The listed price must fall in the price range of R250 000 to R350 000 at the time of semi-finalist voting (September 1, 2016), including the cost of all necessary optional extras. ABS braking must be fitted. ESP (Electronic Stability Control) – (if not fitted as standard, the cost of this feature, along with all other required extras, must not push the price over R350 000). Minimum of 4 airbags – (if not fitted as standard, the cost of these items, along with all other required extras, must not push the price over R350 000). Split/fold rear seats must be fitted and a service plan – (if not fitted as standard, the cost of this feature, along with all other required extras, must not push the price over R350 000). Let's not forget air-conditioning – (if not fitted as standard, the cost of this feature, along with all other required extras, must not push the price over R350 000).
The semi-finalists in the Compact Family Car category of the Cars.co.za Consumer Awards – powered by WesBank are as follows (in no particular order):
Suzuki Vitara 1.6 GL+
The reborn Vitara is no longer a small SUV, but designed to fulfil the role of a compact crossover. It is therefore perfectly in tune with modern tastes. The Vitara offers an attractive blend of style, spaciousness, features, refinement and “Suzuki-ness”. The latter aspect is important, as it should translate into good reliability and service backup from the dealer network. Power comes from a fuel-efficient 1.6-litre petrol engine, which has outputs of 86 kW and 151 Nm.
Renault Captur dCi Dynamique
With good pricing, stylish looks and a comprehensive standard features list, the Renault Captur has found immediate favour with South African shoppers. There is considerable substance to its style, however, as the cabin is not only spacious, but packed with big-car features. A 1.5-litre turbodiesel engine was added to the range recently and we feel it's the pick of the litter. Fuel economy is impressive at a claimed 3.6 L/100 km.
Nissan Qashqai 1.2 Visia
The 2nd-generation Nissan Qashqai is a very popular choice, and this entry-level derivative sells strongly. The handsome, but compact exterior hides a spacious, feature-packed cabin with excellent build quality. The ride quality is supple and refined and the engine delivers a very persuasive power/economy balance. We've gone for the 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engine, which offers a great blend of performance and economy.
Honda HR-V 1.5 Comfort
With interior packaging inspired by the versatile Honda Jazz, the HR-V takes a winning design and adds more space to accomodate passengers and cargo. There are not many cars of this size that can swallow more detritus, and you don’t have to compromise on features and quality either as the HR-V is well-stocked with luxury and convenience items. This HR-V is powered by a normally aspirated 1.5-litre petrol engine. Honda claims a combined cycle fuel economy figure of 6.2 L/100 km, which, with a tank size of 40 litres, should realise a range of around 645 km between fill-ups.
Ford Ecosport 1.5 TDCi Titanium
The EcoSport continues to make a significant contribution to Ford’s monthly sales figures and this 1.5-litre TDCi Titanium derivative is one of the most popular. It boasts an economical turbodiesel engine and a near full-house package of features, with just enough SUV machismo to appeal to a very wide audience. This EcoSport is powered by a 1.5-litre turbodiesel engine that delivers 66 kW and 205 Nm of torque. Ford claims an excellent combined cycle fuel consumption figure of 4.6 L/100 km. Given the fuel tank size of 52 litres, the Ford should have an optimal tank range of around 1 000 km.