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People's Wheels: SA's top cars

2013-07-23 13:53

TIME TO VOTE: South Africans tend to make indecisive choices when it comes to choosing their Car of the Year. Will the Golf VII GTI be the 2014 winner of the SA People's Wheels' awards? Image: SERGIO DAVIDS

Will economy cars or luxury vehicles win the 2014 People’s Wheels Awards? South African car enthusiasts swing between affordability and aspiration when choosing their Car of the Year, according to SA’s People’s Wheels Awards.

The awards allow motoring enthusiasts an opportunity to vote for the cars they love most, regardless of whether their vehicle of choice is a R3-million super car or a compact hatchback.


In the 2013 awards, the resounding victor was the Range Rover Evoque while the Kia Picanto took honours in 2012.

Standard Bank’s head of vehicle and asset finance, Sydney Soundy, said: “These two cars couldn’t be more different.

“In one year, we have a car that leads in its category of being compact and affordable, and on the other, we have a high-end vehicle that naturally appeals to many South Africans, even though few can readily afford it.

“And interestingly, neither of these cars features as the top selling model according to the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa’s (NAAMSA) sales figures for either year.”

He said buyers often have their own criteria for vehicles despite which automakers are tops in SA sales.

Soundy said: “There are plausible explanations for these results. We think that the variation in winning characteristics from one year to the next may reflect the prevailing public sentiment of the time, leading consumers to place more weight on either practical or aspirational considerations.”


It remains to be seen whether practicality or aspiration will win the battle in the 2014 Car of the Year.

Soundy says: “This is ultimately the strength of the awards. The views of people who admire and love the vehicles they drive, and those with an aspirational approach to motoring, can have their views heard.”

There are two online surveys used to find the winners. There are a total of 32 categories listed covering more than 460 models.

The Car of the Year survey allows voters to nominate their favourite vehicle, while the Vehicle Ownership survey evaluates drivers on their driving experience, after sales service and ownership.

The surveys can be accessed online and voters stand a chance to claim a R25 000 prize.

Winners in the award categories will be announced at a gala ceremony in Johannesburg on November 21 2013. 
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