JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – The South African Guild of Motoring Journalists (SAGMJ) has named its 40 semi-finalists for the 2014 Car of the Year competition.Members of the South African Guild of Motoring Journalists cast their votes on new vehicles introduced to market within the eligibility period on model ranges and specific derivatives launched from August 31, 2012.STRONG COMPETITIONThe SAGMJ has run the SA Car of the Year competition since 1986 with WesBank, as well as recent companies Hollard Insurance and Motul.How it works:During the the first week of October 2013, the COTY Jury will cast their votes with the finalists to be announcenced on October 19, at the 2013 Johannesburg International Motor Show (JIMS). The SAGMJ said: “With the sole aim of rewarding automotive excellence, the Jury will put the finalists through stringent testing in January 2014 before scoring each finalist against, its direct class competitors, on aspects that include aesthetics, dynamics, technology and innovation, safety and value for money, to name but a few. "The 2014 Car of the Year will be announced February 19, 2014."SAGMJ chairman Christo Valentyn said: "The semi-finalists for the 2014 Car of the Year competition is, in my opinion. an extremely accurate representation of the best new vehicles from the past year. It clearly shows that automotive excellence - which is the main criteria of the competition - can be found in every segment of the market, regardless of whether it's a high performance convertible, a capable SUV or a stylish hatchback."2012 COTY CONTROVERSYThe 2013 Car of the Year winner, the Porsche Boxster, was quite a controversial choice and sparked much debate from Wheels24 readers.Valentyn added: "The Porsche Boxster remains a stellar example of the automotive excellence the SA Car of the Year competition aims to honour. “While it's considered an unconventional winner by many, it has broken the mould and influenced the thinking that surrounds what the COTY competition is about. It proved that excellence doesn't come in a specific or generic shape or form."2014 South African Car of the Year: Semi-finalists • Audi A3 Sportback 1.4T FSI Manual• Audi A3 Sportback 1.6 TDI S tronic• Audi A3 Sportback 1.8T FSI S tronic• Audi A4 allroad 2.0 TDI quattro S tronic• Chevrolet Trailblazer 2.8 LTZ 4x2 Auto• Citroën DS3 Cabrio THP 155 Sport• Ford EcoSport 1.0 EcoBoost Titanium• Ford Fiesta ST 1.6 EcoBoost two-door*• Ford Focus ST1 2.0 EcoBoost four-door*• Ford Kuga 1.6 EcoBoost Trend FWD• Ford Kuga 2.0 TDCI Titanium Powershift AWD• Honda Brio 1.2 Comfort Manual hatchback• Honda Brio 1.2 Comfort Manual sedan• Honda CR-V 2.2 Elegance AWD Manual• Hyundai Santa Fe R2.2 Premium FWD 5-seater• Hyundai Veloster 1.6 GDI Executive Manual• Jaguar F-TYPE 3.0 V6• Jaguar F-TYPE 3.0 V6 S• Kia Cerato 1.6 EX Manual• Kia Cerato 2.0 SX Manual• Lexus IS 350 F-Sport• Mercedes-Benz A 220 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY• Mercedes-Benz A 45 AMG• Mercedes-Benz E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID• Opel Astra 2.0T OPC• Peugeot 208 GTi• Porsche Cayman S• Range Rover 4.4 SDV8 Vogue SE• Renault Clio 4 66kW Turbo Dynamique• Renault Clio 4 66kW Turbo Expression• Subaru BRZ 2.0 6MT• Toyota RAV4 2.2 D-4D AWD GX• Volkswagen Golf 7 1.4 TSI 90kW Comfortline DSG• Volkswagen Golf 7 2.0 TDI 110kW Highline DSG• Volkswagen Golf 7 GTI DSG 2.0 TSI 162kW• Volkswagen Golf 7 GTI Manual 2.0 TSI 162kW• Volvo V40 D3 Geartronic Excel• Volvo V40 T3 Manual Excel• Volvo V40 Cross Country D3 Geartronic Elite• Volvo V40 Cross Country T5 Geartronic AWD EliteWhich vehicle do you think deserves the title of 2014 SA Car of the Year? Email us and we'll publish your thoughts on Wheels24.