FINALISTS REVEALED: The finalists for the 2017 SA Car of the Year competition has been revealed. The Volvo XC90 (pictured) won the 2016 title. Image: Quickpic
Cape Town - The 2017 South African Car of the Year competition has kicked off, with the first round of elimination done and dusted.
The 10 finalists have been revealed by the South African Guild of Motoring Journalist (SAGMJ) on September 27 at the Johannesburg Country Club in Woodmead.
The finalist reveal follows a vote cast by a 28-member Jury, elected by their peers, of an original list of 35 eligible vehicle ranges.
The 2017 South African Car of the Year winner will be announced at a black tie event on March 15, 2017.
All cars launched from August 2015 to August 2016 were eligible for nomination for the annual competition. All guild members could vote for 10 cars to be selected as semi-finalists.
Once voting closed, the Car of the Year (Coty) jury members gathered and discussed the eligibility of all the cars. From this list, the top 20 cars were chosen, of which each member voted for their top 10.
READ: 2017 SA Car of the Year - Semi-finalists revealed
The top 20 cars with the most votes made it to the semi-finalist round, after which the list was trimmed down to 10 vehicles as the finalists.
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
Which car do you think should be crowned SA's 2017 car of the year? Vote here.
SA Guild of Motoring Journalists chairman, Bernard Hellberg Jr, says: "The competition now moves into high gear as preparations are made for two days of stringent evaluations at the beginning of February 2017. At these evaluation days – the most critical of which will be the scheduled procedures at the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit – the Coty Jury will assess the cars independently, with routes and modules designed to test the vehicles in a similar way in which the average consumer would use them."
Hellberg adds that the evaluation days offer the Jury the opportunity to reacquaint themselves with the vehicles on specific aspects including aesthetics, build quality, ergonomics, fuel consumption, environmental friendliness, safety features and value for money.
He says: "The Jury will also have access to performance test data, comparative pricing and specification data, as well as comparative parts pricing data, compiled by the Guild’s digital partner, MAPO.
"While all of the vehicles that are participating in the event represent examples of outstanding automotive engineering, there can be only one winner. After careful deliberation by the Coty Jury, the vehicle range that best represents automotive excellence when compared to its segment peers, will be crowned the 2017 WesBank South African Car of the Year."
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:
• Cabin Styling, Layout, and Ergonomics
• Engineering Integrity and Build Quality
• Exterior Design
• Overall Excellence
• Ride Quality
• Steering and Handling
• Value for money
READ: 2016 SA Car of the Year - And the winner is...
The SA motoring guild has run the SA Car of the Year competition since 1986. This year, AutoTrader, South Africa’s largest online motoring portal, joins the SAGMJ as a sponsor.