Cape Town - The women of South Africa have voted and Women on Wheels (WoW) has announced the winners of the 2015 SA Women’s Car of the Year Awards (#WoWCoty).
Thousands of votes were cast by readers and combined with the judges’ selection. The winning cars in 11 categories has been decided along with the overall winner.
Finalists in each category were chosen by WoW.
And the winner is...
The 2015 SA Women's Car of the Year is the Volvo XC90. Wheels24's Janine-Lee Van Der Post, one of the judges, says: "The XC90 ticks all the right boxes for everyone, male or female, and deserves the winning title."
The winning cars in each category are:
• Budget buys:Volkswagen up!
• Hatchbacks: Opel Adam
• Sedans:Mercedes-Benz C-Class
• MPVs: Opel Mokka
• Green cars: BMW i8
• Crossover/compact SUV: Land Rover Discovery Sport
• Large SUVs: Volvo XC90
• Convertible: BMW 2 Series convertible
• Road racer: Porsche 911 GT3 RS
• Super cars:McLaren 650S Coupe
• Tick Tock (Cars yet to arrive) : Ford Mustang
• Overall Car of the Year: Volvo XC90
How it works...
For the 2015 competition, the judges brief was the following: "You are required to choose your top choices in each category. The combined top choices of the judging panel and online reader vote will declare the winner in each category. Don't forget to choose your OVERALL winner of the year as well.
"When judging, please bear in mind the needs of female car buyers, including aspects such as styling, value for money, safety, practicality, economy, reliability and good after-sales service."
Together with the readers' vote, the judging panel for the 2015 awards sees Charleen Clarke (magazine editor of WoW) and Juliet McGuire (online editor of WoW) joined by Liana Reiners, editor of Autolive; Vuyi Jabavu, managing director of Driving in Heels; Sukasha Singh, motoring editor at Mail & Guardian; Lindsay Vine of DStv motoring channel Ignition (189); member of the SA Guild of Motoring Journalists since 1987, Peta Lee; and Wheels24's Janine-Lee Van der Post.
Due to an error on WoW's behalf, motoring contributor for Forbes Woman Africa and motoring specialist for SABC radio station, Mabuyane Kekana, was unable to vote, however, former CAR motoring journalist, Kelly Lodewyks, stepped in as a guest judge to make up the lost vote.
How Wheels24 voted
The sub-categories were chosen by Women on Wheels. View the judging sheet below which includes Van der Post's votes.
View the finalists judging sheet here, along with Wheels24's Janine Van der Posts votes.
Van der Post said: "It's important to be a bit realistic when choosing cars in each category. My criteria; What is the most affordable, practical and value-for-money option based on the cars I have tested or experienced.
"Below are the finalists I voted for:
Budget Buys: Kia Picanto
The Picanto is an awesome entry-level car and its styling has evolved brilliantly over the years compared to the bland first generation. It's affordable and offers a bit more space than other cars in its class. It has more standard kit than its competitors.
Hatchbacks: Mercedes-Benz A-Class
Space, affordability and comfort were key factors when selecting the A-Class. The most important criteria for me is: "Can it hold a pram?" Mercedes' new hatchback is also the best looking version of the A-Class since its inception.
I think this Fusion is highly under-rated compared to its German rivals. It's packed with gear and has a comfortable drive. What makes it a winner in the sedan segment is its humongous boot. You could probably fit 10 golf bags in there and still have room for more luggage. It's quite a good-looking car too.
MPVs: Citroen C4 Picasso
The new Picasso has everything you need in an MPV; uber comfort, lots of tech and all the trimmings. It self-parks, drives like a dream and has fold-down trays for kids at the rear.
Green Cars:Toyota Auris HSD
Although I would have loved to have voted for the BMW i8, I don't have R1.8-million to spend on an ultra-modern hybrid supercar. The Auris HSD offers great fuel consumption with a claimed 3.9-litres/100km and only 89g/km CO2 in emissions. It hardly feels like you're driving a hybrid and you'll be doing your part for the environment.
Crossover/compact SUV: Renault Sandero Stepway
I chose the Stepway for one reason: A week before my wedding, I managed to drive 800km on just one tank of fuel. When you need to haul loads of kit around, the Stepway is an affordable option that more than meets your luggage needs.
Luxury, SUVs, sports cars...
My pricing morals are thrown out the window when its comes to the next few categories as my petrolhead reigns. SUVs, convertibles, racers... in these segments I am swayed by optional extras, technology, power figures and design.
Large SUVs: Volvo XC90
The XC90 is simply astounding in terms of technology. It's amazing on every level and although the price is rather steep, its packed with a lot of standard kit and some brilliant features.
It has an in-dash display the size of an iPad - and functions like one too! It self-parks, offers a premium drive and has the boot space of a tanker when the seats are all folded flat.
Convertible:BMW 2 Series convertible
The 2 Series was chosen based on looks and its drive. It's composed on the road and has the appeal that goes along with wind-in-your-hair motoring.
Road Racer: Porsche Boxster
There's a saying in Afrikaans that I believe sums up my feeling for choosing the Boxster: 'Slaan my dood met 'n pap snoek'. It ticks all right boxes for a glorified speed queen. The Peugeot RCZ doesn't appeal to my style in cars and as much as I love the Toyota 86, it lacks in power.
The BMW M6 has a ridiculous fuel consumption figure and although the Renault Megane Trophy is 'hella-fun', its suspension is way too harsh for a daily drive as its meant for serious S-bend lovers.
While the Alfa Romeo 4C is gorgeous, I group it with the likes of the Audi TT and VW Scirocco as it just doesn't give me the thrill the Boxster does when driving.
Super cars: McLaren 650S Coupe
Wheels24 had a little taste of the 650S but sadly I wasn't able to drive it. It's a super-hot car drenched in sex appeal. It has a 3.8 litre twin-turbo V8 pushing out a phenomenal 478kW/678Nm - and can reach the 100km/h mark in three seconds and has a claimed top speed of 333km/h.
Of course, one would need about R6-million in your pockets for this baby.
Tick Tock (what we can’t wait to drive): Ford Mustang
The Mustang is one of the most anticipated cars for South Africa. It arrives later in 2015 and can fitted with either a V6 or V8 engine capable of 227kW/400Nm. There isn't really much else needed to be said....it's a muscle car and it's headed to SA. I must drive it!
Overall Women's Car of the Year:Mercedes-Benz B-Class
I tried to be democratic here as the Volvo XC90 is priced at almost R1-million, and had it not been for that it would be my choice as overall winner.
The B-Class is a typical mommy-van but add an AMG kit and I am smitten. I want one even though it's priced from R400 000. It's still half the price of the Volvo.