Cape Town - The Opel Astra has been crowned the 2017 SA Car of the Year besting 9 other finalists for the top spot. The 2017 award marks the fourth time Opel has grabbed the prestigious title.The Wesbank 2017 South African Car of the Year competition has come to a close and the overall winner has been announced at a gala event in Johannesburg on March 15.
The 10 finalists were selected by the South African Guild of Motoring Journalist (SAGMJ) and each car put through its paces during a two-day evaluation period at the Kyalami race track in Gauteng.
The Audi A4 took second place with the Volkswagen Passat in third.
Readers' 2017 SA Car of the Year choice
Meet the finalists of the 2017 WesBank Car of the Year competition
Readers respondWayne Emmerick: I understand that there are a lot of things to look at when judging a car for the “Best of the Best” and I would not want to be on that panel but then those that are on the panel should not be either. I am a petrol head and love bikes and cars if I have seen one newish Astra on the road in the last 5 years, it is a lot and I live in Gauteng and traveled 100km per day for 6 years and now travel 50km per day so I do get out a lot. I took a bike ride around the border of South Africa in January 2017 and did not see one Astra. Meaning people are not buying them and although the underlining idea of the COTY is to draw attention to models that people would not otherwise buy (they don't say that but that seems to be the case) it should really go to the car that people are buying or would buy if they had the money. Astra and Corsa out priced themselves several years ago and until GM gets over themselves and drops the prices by R50 000 they will stay forgotten.
The roads are filled with SUV’s and Kia and Hyundai seems to be the favourite at the moment and one of them should logically be COTY. Special mention should be made of expensive cars that offer more functionality and techno stuff but COTY should mean that a car has been found desirable by the masses and should at least be selling 800 units a month on average to even qualify…or something to that effect.
It is not the responsibility of the panel to choose cars from manufacturers whose sales numbers have dwindled and need a boost to keep people employed that is a marketer’s job.
Sateesh Ramsunder: The COTY selection is a sham. F******* joke of the year. Opel doesn't even come close to the Tiguan. Money went in someones pocket.
Maureen Spangenberg: I cannot remember when is the last time I saw an Opel Astra on the road?
Trevor Bush: Times became tough GM dumped Opel and they up and left SA, leaving owners wondering wth....values dropped through the floor then...the German government bailed them out and they returned as if nothing happend...now they bought by PSA...sorry but an Opel, this is a joke.
Abrie Spangenberg: COTY became the biggest joke especially in these tough times. It seems as the judges were bribed to bring Opel back into the limelight as they are battling to sell their product? The winner of this award is suppose to be a favorite to the people with an affordable price tag connected to quality, safety and proper after sales support. Resale value also to be part of the criteria.
Magda Maritz: WELL DONE OPEL very proud to sell them and drive one!!!
Example Jnrforsure: You mean this car is better than VW Golf 6 and 7, BMW 1 Series, Mercedes-Benz A180 awaaaa ehh maybe the criteria is the issue?
Joe Sekele: I think the award for the 2017 car of the year should be given to Audi A4. Audi A4 is powerful, use less petrol, is faster and comfortable.
Willy Pittner: Doesn't matter which car wins. They are overpriced for what they are and after a couple of years nobody wants to give you squat for them unless you have a Toyota. Why they are put on a pedestal nobody knows. Their spare parts cost the earth and it not always going right. Like everything in this country. We get ripped off.
Penny Hansen: Pity all the finalists are expensive cars us average people can't afford.
Henry Tyrer: I totally agree. All round a stunning car. Well done Opel.
Bruce Matby: Amazing for a company who can’t make money!
Hannes Eyssen: Hyundai, more car for less money.
Hendrik Schutte: The ASTRA is a good choice out of what was left to choose from. Sadly the best was not there anymore! Why did MAZDA withdraw the CX?
Theuns G Strydom: Well that's a bit of info we should take to heart ..Car of the year can only be entered if you pay an entry fee ...so it does seem to eliminate those that don't want or cannot pay ... makes car of the year a club not unbiased at all.
Tman Rings: Only journalists take this competition seriously, there has never been any evidence that it has any effect on consumer buying decisions. Thus I fail to see why it's relevant anyway, big up to Mazda for withdrawing.
Jacques Werner: I do not know to what length the voting process goes, but the feeling of motor journalists and the public surely differs a lot. Look at the sales figures of the Astra which definitely shows the public opinion. I really do not agree with the result.
Johan Prinsloo: Personally I don't think anyone takes car of the year seriously anymore and in my opinion it should be cancelled.
How many years in a row has Porsche won. I don't dislike Porsche but in all fairness to elect a car to drive on SA roads and for that matter a sports car Just shows how disconnected these journalists are. Now they name a car that's gone bankrupt as a winner. So disregard resale value and after sales service. Let's get two year old to decide the winner and I think they will do stellar job compared to these journalists.
Kenneth Pattinson: The competition has for many years been a joke - it lost its credibility several years ago. Even the motor industry has down graded the significance of the competition. Sales, motoring trends and reaction from buyers has proved it holds absolutely no credibility. It's a waste of money and a "free ride" for many unqualified motoring journalists - which have on several occasions been manipulated into favouring certain vehicles. The last few years results are testimony to the shambles - Porsche is my favorite sports car - but by no means a SA car of the year - and again and again. Even the Opel - a decent car, but nowhere near been car of the year. Either sort out the competition or can it - currently it's a joke. My involvement in the industry is significant and my opinion is shared by most of my contemporaries.