UPDATE: We've added user responses at the end of the article.
Cape Town - The Volvo XC90 has been crowned the 2016 SA Car Of The Year earlier in March 2016. It's the second win for the Swedish automaker since its S40 2.4i grabbed the title in 2005.
Wheels24 user Johan Goosen emailed us after the Volvo XC90 was announced as the 2016 Car of the Year winner earlier in March. He said the local competition should be renamed the 'Most expensive Car of the Year'.
Goosen said: "Guess what? It might not be a Porsche, but the most expensive car won again! You keep mentioning your criteria, compare in class, etc. however the most expensive car keeps on winning.
"How many years in a row has the most expensive car won this thing?
"Congratulations. Being the most expensive with the fewest rivals makes you car of the year. In a country with 25% unemployment, a car whose base model cost R850 000 won Car of the Year. Can we rename the award - 'Most Expensive Car Of The Year or ME-CoTY'.
Read: Do only 'expensive models' win SA Car of the Year?
Volvo SA has submitted a response to the article “It should be renamed most expensive SA Car of the Year” as the automaker believes Goosen's response was "factually incorrect towards the Volvo brand and the SA Car of the Year competition".
Do you think the Volvo XC90 deserved to win the 2016 SA Car of the Year? Email us and we'll publish your thoughts...
Volvo South Africa responds: List below from Volvo
1 The most expensive car did not win again. In the previous few years of the competition, the winners were not necessarily the most expensive of all the finalists. The Volvo, in this case, is, but this is not the continuation of a trend.
2 The Volvo XC90 received the largest amount of high scores across the board from the collective Jury, indicating that in fact it answers the mandate of being the best car in its class.
3 The Volvo is indeed the most expensive of this year’s finalists, but value-for-money, which is a judging criterion, has to be considered. All derivatives in the XC90 range come standard with an enormous amount of features which enhance their value considerably compared to competitors.
4 Value-for-money and affordability need to be separated as individual concepts – the latter of which is not a factor in the judging of this competition.
If affordability were to be a factor, the Car of the Year would almost certainly always be the cheapest car on the market – which would pose exactly the opposite of the same problem.
5 Sales volume is also not a judging criterion – the competition seeks to find the car which represents motoring excellence in its class, regardless of how many people may buy them
6 Volvo Car South Africa is a fully independent vehicle importer and is not under the control or influence of an automotive conglomerate such as the one mentioned in the article. While the company in question did import Volvo Cars into South Africa in the early 1990s, the relationship with said company in the modern age is now limited to a handful of dealers in the Volvo Car South Africa network
These dealers are some of the best-performing in the network, both in terms of sales volumes and customer satisfaction
7 The negative perception of Volvo resale value is diminishing in South Africa as our vehicles constantly prove to compare well with their rivals from a resale point-of-view.
Their inherent value as well as our comprehensive maintenance propositions (both included in the sale of the vehicle and available as post-sale extensions) enable overall value of ownership – new or used – to improve.
We also offer extended benefits such as factory-fitted laminated glass and a satellite tracking system as no-cost extras with every new Volvo sold in South Africa – again enhancing value and indeed the safety of the South African motorist.
8 Volvo Car South Africa also constantly strives to drive customer satisfaction upwards, an industry-wide conundrum.
Tian Claassens: Why does Volvo feel pressurised to respond to criticism of the competition? Surely it is the job of the organisers to do that? The mere fact that the OEM is responding reinforces the perception that the competition is "farmed-out" to the highest bidder every year. The motoring journalists who supposedly elect the car-of-the-year is just following orders and doing someone else's dirty work....
Daantjie Badenhorst: This is a lot of crap. I agree that Porsche has dominated the competition for too long, but I don't believe that only expensive cars can win the title. The fact that the Mazda2, the Ford Fiesta and the Hyundai Elantra are all ex-Car of the Year winners proves my point. The XC90 is not my first choice in its class (the BMW X5 is), but I think the Guild of Motoring Journalists were swayed by the seemingly impressive engine technology the XC 90 comes with. The new range of engines still have to prove themselves, but knowing Volvo's reputation for reliabilty and durability, that should not take too long.
Ken Schreuder: I have no doubt that it will prove to be a deserving winner. The car comes standard with a bucket load of features that other brands charge top dollar for. I own a 2005 XC90 that I drive on a daily basis in preference to two other more expensive and brand new vehicles. It is built like a tank, reliable, comfortable and has a special place in my heart. I don't think I will get rid of it soon. Except maybe for a new XC90!
Just because one's personal favourite doesn't win does not make the whole competition invalid.
Dirk Hattingh: I do not see why South Africans have such an issue with the XC90 winning car of the year? After all, it has won a lot of COTY awards overseas as well.
I honestly think that the Volvo deserves a chance for the following reasons:
-It comes in cheaper than its rivals, with a lot more standard features (an M4 that is less practical costs almost 50% more, and they are all over the road, people shouldn’t say South Africans can’t afford a Volvo)
-It has the best in class fuel economy. The attest T8 hybrid is just as efficient as a Prius!
-It has some of the highest power-to-displacement ratios out there for its range of engine (besides from the ultra-high performance hot hatches, this car has output for its given size).
-It scored the best ever in the Euro NCAP ratings, and Volvo exceeds expectations in real world scenarios, where I see other top class German brands crumple to bits with their supposed 5 star ratings, this is South Africa, and the amount of deaths on our roads is shocking, it is carnage out there, and all Volvo want, is to not have a single person out there to die in their cars, as well as offer a chance for people colliding into their cars.
-They are leading in technology, and the Swedes seemingly take a lot more pride in their work than any South African has done. -It is incredibly practical, even though it looks like a softy, we all know what Volvo is made of.
Volvo only has horrible resale in South Africa, for reasons not known to me, as they do not suffer so badly overseas, I believe resale value is determined by a certain panel of insurance boffins, which is probably getting a pot of gold from another competitor (VW already cheated their emissions and performance claims, why would they not have a finger in a pot that is the panel of people determining their resale value of a competitor) I am not complaining, I get absolutely amazing value for money when buying second hand Volvos
What people should be asking is, why are South African overrating VW so much? They also break! and why are all the magazines are always biased towards VW? They make great cars, but they are not made by gods, if they were, people would probably not be dying after crashing them.
A South African motorhead that thinks Volvo should be given a chance.