The countdown to the announcement of the winners of the Cars.co.za Consumer Awards winners – powered by WesBank, has begun. Here are the 39 finalists (3 in each of the 13 respective categories) that stand a chance of winning trophies in Johannesburg on January 19 2017.
The finalists were selected from a group of 65 cars that the seven members of the Cars.co.za editorial team agreed were the best derivatives available in the South African new vehicle market on 1 September 2016.
To reduce the selection of vehicles per category from 5 to 3, the same team ranked the contenders against predetermined pillars of success in each category. No fewer than 18 brands are represented in the list of finalists and 27 of the final 39 vehicles are produced by German and Japanese marques. The BMW Group, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen lead the nominations with 5 derivatives apiece, while Toyota South Africa Motors and Jaguar Land Rover SA have 4 each.
The 3rd phase of the Cars.co.za Consumer Awards – powered by WesBank took place in early November 2016 when a combined judging panel (the Cars.co.za test team and seven guest judges) evaluated the finalists back-to-back during a 2-day testing session at Gerotek.
Survey results critical to final outcome
However, the findings of the 14 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, in partnership with leading data specialists Lightstone Consumer. The data incorporates feedback from tens of thousands of vehicle owners, based on their experiences of their vehicles (must be less than 5 years old and serviced through franchised outlets).
"We are confident that we have very strong candidates in each category, though they're not always strong for the same reasons. It will be fascinating to see how the judges – our own and the external panel – vote, and what impact the Cars.co.za Ownership Satisfaction Survey's data will have," says Cars.co.za Consumer Experience Manager Hannes Oosthuizen.
"The scene is set for a very interesting final test routine and judging," he adds. “We urge all South African car owners to complete the survey. We want real, credible input, and the only way to do that is for the public to give us their views on the cars they know best – the ones they own.”
The finalists are (in no particular order):
- Suzuki Celerio 1.0 GL
- Renault Sandero Expression
- Toyota Aygo X-Play
- Honda Jazz 1.2 Comfort
- Opel Corsa 1.0T Enjoy
- Volkswagen Polo 1.2 TSI Comfortline
- Nissan Qashqai 1.2 Visia
- Renault Captur dCi 90 Dynamique
- Suzuki Vitara 1.6 GL+
- Hyundai Tucson 2.0 NU Elite Auto
- Nissan X-Trail 2.5 SE CVT AWD
- Volkswagen Tiguan 1.4 TSI Comfortline DSG
- BMW M2 M-DCT
- Mercedes-AMG A45 4MATIC
- Ford Focus RS
- BMW 120i M Sport sports-auto
- VW Golf GTI DSG
- Mercedes-Benz A220d Style
- Mazda MX-5
- Mini JCW auto
- VW Golf GTI Clubsport
- Ford Everest 3.2 LTD
- Toyota Fortuner 2.8 GD-6 4x4 Auto
- Land Rover Discovery Sport TD4 SE
- Jaguar XF 25t Portfolio
- Lexus GS350 F-Sport
- Mercedes-Benz E220d Avantgarde
- Mercedes-Benz S500e LWB
- BMW 750Li Design Pure Excellence
- Range Rover SDV8 Autobiography LWB
- Ford Ranger 3.2 Wildtrak 4x4 Auto
- Toyota Hilux 2.8 GD-6 4x4 Raider Auto
- VW Amarok 2.0 BiTDI 4Motion Highline Auto
- Audi A4 2.0T FSI Sport S-tronic
- BMW 330d M Sport sports-auto
- Mercedes-Benz C250 AMG Line
- Audi Q7 3.0 TDI Quattro
- Jaguar F-PACE 30d R-Sport
- Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine Inscription
Members of the public can follow developments of the Cars.co.za Consumer Awards – powered by WesBank (such as the respective phases of the judging process) on Cars.co.za’s channels. Related content will feature the #CarsAwards hashtag.
More information on the programme, including its categories, judges and finalists is available on the Cars.co.za Consumer Awards – powered by WesBank website.