NEW AND DEFINITELY IMPROVED: The Opel Astra is by far one of the biggest surprises in the early part of 2016! Image: Charlen Raymond
Johannesburg - The Wesbank 2017 South African Car of the Year competition has come to a close and the overall winner has been announced at a gala event in Johannesburg on March 15.
The 10 finalists were selected by the South African Guild of Motoring Journalist (SAGMJ) and each car put through its paces during a two-day evaluation period at the Kyalami race track in Gauteng.
And the winner is...
The cream of the SA motoring crop
The Opel Astra has been crowned the 2017 SA Car of the Year besting 9 other finalists for the top spot. The 2017 award marks the fourth time Opel has grabbed the prestigious title.
The Audi A4 took second place with the Volkswagen Passat in third.
Readers' 2017 SA Car of the Year choice
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Bernard Hellberg Jnr, Car of the Year convenor and chairman of the SAGMJ, said: “By virtually unanimously approving of the Opel Astra as the 2017 WesBank South African Car Of The Year, the COTY Jury has again proven that experience is the key to the success of the COTY competition.
"The Opel Astra, a multiple award-winning car, perfectly embodies much of the spirit of the competition by combining engineering excellence, driving pleasure and value for money in a worthy winner of South Africa’s ultimate motoring accolade.”
Opel's popular Astra
According to Hellberg: "Powered by new-generation 1.0-, 1.4- and 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engines which are available in either manual or automatic, the Opel Astra impressed the COTY Jury with its incredible road holding and build quality. This year’s Jury selected the Astra as overall winner with 2370.25 points, and most impressively, 94.8% of its points were awarded in the 5 to 10 scoring range. This clearly indicates that the Opel Astra is a brilliant all-rounder."
The Audi A4 scored 2338.56 points as first runner up followed by the Volkswagen Passat (2337.35 points)
The official winner coincides with the results of our Readers' Car of the Year.
Click here to find out which car tops the list in our readers poll.
Here are the 2017 Car of the Year finalists:
Car of the Year judging explained:
Below are the 10 finalists in alphabetical order:
• Audi A4
• Honda Civic
• Hyundai Tucson
• Jaguar F-Pace
• Mazda CX-3
• Opel Astra
• Renault Kadjar
• Toyota Fortuner
• Volkswagen Tiguan
• Volkswagen Passat