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SA Car of the Year: Which car do you think deserves the title?

2016-11-30 08:43

EARLY LEAD: The Opel Astra takes a commanding lead in our Readers' Car of the Year poll. We'll be running the poll for at least a few more months so cast your vote. Image: Wheels24

Cape Town -  The 2017 Wesbank SA Car of the Year competition is garnering mixed responses, at least according to initial voting in our homepage poll.

The 10 finalists have been revealed by the South African Guild of Motoring Journalist (SAGMJ), following a vote cast by a 28-member Jury, elected by their peers, of an original list of 35 eligible vehicle ranges.

SA's next COTY will be crowned in March 2017. Wheels24's Sergio Davids and Janine Van der Post will be judges at the 2017 SA Car of the Year competition. 

Voting for SA's next Car of the Year

The SAGMJ will put each of the finalists through its paces at the Kyalami Grand Prix circuit on February 1 and 2 before final voting takes place.

When we first asked Wheels24 readers which car should take the coveted title, the Audi A4 grabbed an early lead. Now, the Opel Astra is miles ahead of the pack...

It's still early and with at least four months until the announcement, who knows which car might grad the title of "Wheels24 Readers' SA Car of the Year". We've also included some team opinions at the end of the article.

In case you need a refresher on the 10 Car of the Year finalists: Full list below the clip

Which car do you think should be crowned SA's 2017 car of the year? Vote here.

Readers make their mark

We asked our readers: 'Which car do you think should be crowned SA's 2017 car of the year?'

Opel Astra - 521
Volkswagen Tiguan - 302
Hyundai Tucson - 253
Toyota Fortuner - 249
Audi A4 - 233
Honda Civic - 136
Jaguar F-Pace - 148
Mazda CX-3  - 164
Volkswagen Passat - 91

Renault Kadjar - 69


Which car do you think deserves the title of 2017 SA Car of the year (and why)? Cast your vote here! Email us or reach us via Facebook  and Twitter.


The Wheels24 team and TopCar's Calvin Fisher choose their top 3 finalists:

TopCar editor Calvin Fisher:

VW Passat: I drove its predecessor for a year and swooned. The new one is handsome, performs like the new Audi A4 and can be had for significantly less money. It even managed to beat out the usual segment champion’s in TopCar’s saloon shootout earlier this year. No longer the frumpy sibling.

Hyundai Tucson: From Tucson to IX35 and now back to Tucson... the compact SUV from Hyundai has grown from strength to strength. Now no longer a budget prospect, the Korean marque have made the switch to quality and it shows here. If it’s within your budget, you won’t regret it.

Mazda CX3: That naturally-aspirated engine here is a free-revving gem, and reason enough to elevate this elevated hatchback into the big leagues. It's the most fun you can have in this segment, and relatively affordable too - why wouldn't you get one?

Sean Parker:

Volkswagen Tiguan: The second-gen mid-size SUV pushes the goalpost even further with a comfortable ride, stylish exterior and fuel-saving bits like cylinder deactivation.

Renault Kadjar: A solid effort from Renault with its new Kadjar. Good build quality, ergonomically on point and strong engines make for a compelling package in the SUV segment. It could be a dark horse in this competition. 

Audi A4: The odd one out of my three choices, as it isn't an SUV but the A4's premium cabin, exceptional damping and powerful petrol turbo and diesel engines translates into a fantastic sedan. 

Charlen Raymond: 

Honda Civic:  It offers a good balance between a compliant ride quality and an involving driving experience. What could count against it, though, is the underwhelming CVT gearbox and engine that needs some 'winding-up'. Still, the all-round package is very commendable.

Opel Astra: The Astra’s drive is on par with what the segment offers, but the car comes standard with technology and features that are optional on the competition - if it is offered at all. The Astra entered the South African market off the back of winning the 2016 European Car of the Year title and a few moments of driving the car makes it easy to understand why.

Volkswagen Tiguan: On looks alone the Tiguan could win it, but that is only one part of the Tiguan’s arsenal. It has the technology to enhance occupants' safety and buckets of on-road presence. The drivetrain is responsive and when cruising along at constant speeds, two of the four cylinders will deactivate to conserve fuel.

Which car do you think should be crowned SA's 2017 car of the year? Vote here.

The competition

The competition is sponsored by WesBank (headline sponsor since inception), and this year support sponsor Hollard, has been joined by MAPO and AutoTraderSA.


The 2017 COTY Jury will put the finalists through structured testing procedures in early February 2017, before scoring each finalist against its direct class competitors on aspects that include: 

 • Affordability
 • Cabin Styling, Layout, and Ergonomics
 • Engine
 • Engineering Integrity and Build Quality
 • Exterior Design
 • Overall Excellence
 • Ride Quality
 • Steering and Handling
 • Technology
 • Transmission
 • Value for money

NEXT ON WHEELS24X

Inside Wheels24

SA Car of the Year: AutoTrader signed as sponsor

The South African Guild of Motoring Journalists (SAGMJ) has announced AutoTrader as a new sponsorship for the 2017 South African Car of the Year.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.