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WATCH: Kona, Swift, E-Pace... 2019 SA Car of the Year semi-finalists - here's how some of SA's top cars will battle it out!

2018-11-08 09:57

Janine Van der Post

SA car of the year semi-finalists

Image: Wheels24

UPDATE: We've included a list of previous SA Car of the Year winners at the end of this article

The South African Guild of Motoring Journalists has announced the semi-finalists in the 2019 AutoTrader SA Car of the Year competition. SUVs are dominating the list alongside other potential winners ranging from an inexpensive hatchback to a luxury sedan.

There are also new categories in the competition for 2019. These categories will only be won if there is a suitable candidate and it does not affect the selection of finalist vehicles.

The new categories that form part the SA Car of The Year include:
Premium (executive and premium sedan) 
Leisure (SUVs/crossovers) 
Lifestyle Utility (bakkies/derived SUVs) 
Urban Compact (small hatch and small sedan) 
Mid-Size Winner (MPV, medium sedan and hatch)


Which car do you think should win the 2019 SA Car of the Year title? Share your thoughts with us via email

Rubin van Niekerk, Chairman of the SAGMJ, says: "We are extremely proud of the public participation this year, and were not surprised when the voting, in a large part, mirrored that of our voting Guild members. The competition has gradually evolved over the last three decades and now includes a technological spin on public interaction." 

He reiterated that the sole aim of the competition is to reward automotive excellence, and added that the finalists would be put through structured testing procedures in March 2019, before scoring each against its direct class competitors on 11 aspects ranging from engine performance to exterior design.

The 2019 COTY Jury will put the finalists through structured testing procedures on March 10 - 12, before scoring each finalist against its direct class competitors on aspects that include: 

. Exterior Design
. Interior Design & Utility/Practicality
. Engine Performance
. Technology
. Transmission Performance 
. Engineering Integrity, Build Quality & Noise Levels
. Ride Handling and Brakes
. Driver Assistance & Safety Systems
. Overall Excellence
. Affordability / Value for Money (automated score)
. Vehicle sales (automated score)

The top 10 finalists will be revealed in November.

SA car of the year semi-finalists

History of the SA Car of The Year

The South African Car of the Year award has always been a pivotal moment in the motoring year, a decree that shapes both motoring interest and sales for the year to come.

First run in 1986, the SACOTY was founded by the South African Guild of Motoring Journalists (SAGMJ), itself approaching 57 years in existence. AutoTrader’s added 26 years of experience give the competition over a century of combined motoring know-how, along with a shared desire for innovation.

With a judging process based on both rigorous judge selection - the competition uses a minimum of 22 judges chosen by voting, peer, and industry-wide selection, across the SAGMJ’s 300 plus membership; and relentless judging criteria - cars are personally scored on between 10 and 12 factors, test driven on track and road, and verified by each judge within a set time period - the SACOTY is respected across the globe.

Wheels24's Janine Van der Post, who has been a SA Coty judge, says: "The new format is exciting and especially because the jury, industry players, and the public's concerns have been taken into account and suggestions are now a reality. With public participation also now part of the programme, things can only get better for the competition." 

South African Car of the Year: Previous winners

2018 Porsche Panamera
2017 Opel Astra
2016 Volvo XC90
2015 Porsche Macan S Diesel
2014 Porsche Cayman S
2013 Porsche Boxster
2012 Hyundai Elantra 1.8 GLS
2011 VW Polo 1.6 TDI and BMW 530d
2010 VW Golf 6 1.4 TSI Comfortline
2009 Honda Accord 2.4i Executive
2008 Mazda 2 Individual
2007 Honda Civic 1.8 VXi
2006 Audi A3 Sportback 2.0T FSI
2005 Volvo S40
2004 Renault Mégane 1.9 dCi
2003 VW Polo 1.4 TDI
2002 Audi A4 1.9 TDI
2001 BMW 320d
2000 Renault Clio 1.4 RT
1999 Alfa Romeo 156 T-Spark
1998 Ford Fiesta Fun
1997 BMW 528i
1996 Audi A4 1.8
1995 Opel Astra 160iS
1994 Opel Kadett 140
1993 BMW 316i
1992 Nissan Maxima 300 SE
1991 Opel Monza 160 GSi
1990 BMW 525i
1989 Toyota Corolla GLi Executive
1988 BMW 735
1987 Mercedes-Benz 260
1986 Toyota Corolla Twin Cam

Most wins by manufacturer

6 BMW 1988, 1990, 1993, 1997, 2001, 2011
4 Opel 1991, 1994, 1995, 2017
3 Audi 1996, 2002, 2006
3 Volkswagen 2003, 2010, 2011
4 Porsche 2013, 2014, 2015, 2018
2 Honda 2007, 2009
2 Renault 2000, 2004
2 Toyota 1986, 1989
2 Volvo 2005, 2016
1 Alfa Romeo 1999
1 Ford 1998
1 Hyundai 2012
1 Mazda 2008
1 Mercedes-Benz 1987
1 Nissan 1992




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