As you guys should know by now, I am a judge for the Cars.co.za Consumer Awards powered by Wesbank. It is a job I take very seriously because it is up to me (not alone, obviously) to choose the best cars this country has to offer. And believe me, it is no easy task.
Just think about it for a second; you have to take your head out of your backside, put all your personal feelings aside and judge based on what is truly the best car offered in a certain segment. It sounds easy, but like the millions of you who think you can referee a rugby game better than the actual referees, this is harder than you think.
But we managed to do it, being the professionals that we are, and we now have a list of the finalists in this year’s #CarsAwards. At the end of this month I will head up to Gerotek to test drive the finalists back-to-back and then give them a score.
THE #CARSAWARDS FINALISTS ARE
- 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 Auto
- 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
Compact Family Car
- 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
- Ford Everest 2.0 Bi-Turbo 4WD Limited
- Haval H9 Luxury
- Toyota Fortuner 2.8GD-6 4×4 Auto
- Audi Q8 55 TFSI Quattro
- BMW X5 xDrive30d M-Sport
- Range Rover Velar D300 R-Dynamic HSE
- Audi Q3 35 TFSI S Line
- Jaguar E-Pace D180 AWD R-Dynamic
- Volvo XC40 D4 R-Design
Leisure Double Cab
- Ford Ranger 2.0 BiTDi Wildtrak 4×4 Auto
- Toyota Hilux 2.8 GD-6 Legend 50 4×4 Auto
- Volkswagen Amarok 3.0 V6 TDI Highline 4Motion
- 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
- BMW M2 Competition M-DCT
- Ford Mustang GT 5.0
- Toyota Supra 3.0T
YOU CAN ALSO HAVE A SAY
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).
So keep your ears and eyes open early next year when we will find out which cars take the top spots in their respective categories.