Online motoring portal Cars.co.za has announced the semi-finalists of the 2019/20 Cars.co.za Consumer Awards – powered by WesBank.
The awards programme recognises the best purchasing propositions in respective categories of the new vehicle market.
“Vehicle purchases are amongst the biggest that consumers are likely to make in their lifetime,” said Ghana Msibi, executive head of sales and marketing at WesBank.
“Initiatives such as this offer credible opinions on the types of cars and features available in the market, and in so doing help consumers make informed decisions when choosing a new or used vehicle,” he said.
The 13 eventual category winners will be selected from the list of 65 vehicles, which includes model derivatives from 24 brands represented in the South African market.
All vehicles available on the South African market on September 1, 2019, were eligible, not only new products that were launched during the past 12 months.
Compared with the 2018/19 Cars Awards, the executive sedan category has been replaced with one that caters for premium-positioned crossovers.
The former Hot Hatch category (now named Fun Hatch) encompasses more affordable contenders and the price caps for the Premium SUV and Performance Car segments have been raised, it said.
“It is important to note that we analyse market changes proactively and adapt the categories to be better aligned with the South African consumer,” said Cars.co.za consumer experience manager Hannes Oosthuizen.
“With no new contenders in the Executive Sedan category, as well as very poor sales in that segment, we saw it fit to create a new category (to reflect growth and interest in upmarket crossovers) instead.
“Meanwhile there have been no new launches in the traditional hot hatch category, but there has been activity at a lower price point, so we’ve created a new category called Fun Hatch.”
And given the rapidly rising prices of cars, Oosthuisen said that sticking to a R1-million barrier for Premium SUV and Performance Car categories is no longer practical.
Volkswagen leads the charge again
Even though 24 brands’ vehicles feature in the list of 65, five marques have more than three semi-finalists in the running for category honours.
Volkswagen has the most representatives (8), followed by BMW (6) and Audi, which has 5, although the A1 Sportback 40TFSI S Line is notably a semi-finalist in two separate categories.
Ford (5) and Toyota (4) round out the major manufacturers.
Full list of 2019/20 semi-finalists:
- Kia Picanto 1.2 Style
- Renault Sandero Stepway Expression
- Hyundai Grand i10 1.0 Fluid
- Suzuki Swift 1.2 GLX
- Volkswagen Polo Vivo Trendline
- Volkswagen Polo 1.0 TSI Comfortline
- Nissan Micra turbo Acenta Plus
- Mazda2 1.5 Individual Auto
- Kia Rio 1.4 EX
- Ford Fiesta 1.0 Trend Auto
- Volkswagen Golf GTI
- Audi A1 Sportback 40TFSI S Line
- Mercedes-Benz A200 AMG-Line
- Mazda3 2.0 Astina
- Mini Cooper S Hatch 5-Door Sports Auto
- Volvo XC60 D5 R-Design
- Audi Q5 40 TDI Sport quattro
- BMW X3 xDrive20d M-Sport
- Range Rover Evoque D180 R-Dynamic SE
- Mercedes-Benz GLC 220d AMG-Line
Compact Family Car
- Ford Ecosport 1.0 Titanium Auto
- Opel Crossland X 1.2 Turbo Enjoy Auto
- Renault Duster 1.5 dCi Prestige
- Suzuki Vitara 1.4T GLX Auto
- Volkswagen T-Cross 1.0 TSI 85kW Highline R-Line
- Mazda CX-5 2.0 Dynamic Auto
- Peugeot 3008 2.0 HDI Allure
- Subaru Forester 2.0i-S ES
- Toyota RAV4 2.0 GX Auto
- Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace 1.4 TSI Trendline
- Ford Everest 2.0 Bi-Turbo 4WD Limited
- Haval H9 Luxury
- Isuzu M-UX 3.0 4WD
- Mitsubishi Pajero Sport 2.4 D4 4×4
- Toyota Fortuner 2.8GD-6 4×4 Auto
- Audi Q8 55 TFSI quattro
- BMW X5 xDrive30d M-Sport
- Range Rover Velar D300 R-Dynamic HSE
- Mercedes-Benz GLE 400d 4Matic AMG-Line
- Volvo XC90 T8 Twin-Engine R-Design
- Volvo XC40 D4 R-Design
- Audi Q3 35 TFSI S Line
- Jaguar E-Pace D180 AWD R-Dynamic
- Lexus UX 200 EX
- Mini Countryman Cooper S sports-auto
- Toyota Hilux 2.8 GD-6 Legend 50 4×4 Auto
- Ford Ranger 2.0 BiTDi Wildtrak 4×4 Auto
- Mitsubishi Triton 2.4 DI-D 4×4 Auto
- Volkswagen Amarok 3.0 V6 TDI Highline 4Motion
- Isuzu D-Max 3.0 TD 4×4 LX Auto
- BMW 320d Sport Line
- BMW 330i Sport Line
- Mercedes-Benz C300 AMG Line
- Volkswagen Arteon 2.0 TSI 4Motion R-Line
- Audi A5 40 TFSI Sport
- Volkswagen Polo GTI
- Suzuki Swift Sport 1.4T
- Audi A1 Sportback 40 TFSI S Line
- Opel Corsa GSi
- Mini Cooper S Sports-Auto
- Toyota Supra 3.0T
- BMW M2 Competition M-DCT
- BMW Z4 M40i
- Ford Mustang GT 5.0
- Porsche Cayman GTS
In the next round (due to take place in October 2019), the extended Cars.co.za editorial team will score the semi-finalists individually, taking into account various criteria set out for each of the respective categories.
Following that, the top three finalists per category will be announced and subjected to back-to-back testing at Gerotek in Gauteng by the combined judging panel in November 2019.