These are the best cars in South Africa across 13 major categories

Online motoring portal Cars.co.za has announced the winners of its 2019/20 consumer awards, in conjunction with WesBank – including winners in 13 major categories.

Cars.co.za also announced a ‘Brand of the Year’ title during a gala event held at the Kyalami Grand Prix circuit.

Cars were judged directly against their peers in specific categories, each of which has distinct requirements. Half of the final score was based on brand-specific after-sales data that incorporate customer feedback from thousands of South African vehicle owners.

In the four previous iterations of the awards, Suzuki and Toyota won the Brand of the Year title twice. However, the 2019/20 recipient of the trophy – which is determined entirely by market and customer data – is Volkswagen.

Representatives of the Volkswagen Amarok, Arteon and Polo, Toyota Fortuner and Suzuki Swift ranges successfully defended their category victories from the 2018/19 awards, although in the case of the Amarok and Swift, with different derivatives, the organisers said.

The Volkswagen Amarok and Toyota Fortuner have now won their respective categories – Leisure Double-Cab and Adventure SUV ­– for three consecutive years, they said.

Suzuki, meanwhile, won the Budget Car category (with a Swift derivative) for the fourth year in a row.

Three of the 2019/20 category winners (BMW X3, Mazda CX-5 and the Volkswagen Golf GTI) rebounded from having finished as runners up in the previous year’s awards.

“In no fewer than five of the 13 categories, the judges’ favourites did not win, due to the impact of data from the Cars.co.za Ownership Satisfaction Survey,” the event organisers said.

Seventeen brands were represented in the list of finalists. Volkswagen led the nominations with 7 derivatives, followed by BMW, Ford and Toyota (4 apiece), Mazda and Suzuki (3 apiece).

Category winners: 2019/20

Adventure SUV: Toyota Fortuner 2.8 GD-6 4×4 Auto

Budget Car: Suzuki Swift 1.2 GLX

Business Class: Volkswagen Arteon 2.0TSI 4Motion R-Line

Compact Family Car: Volkswagen T-Cross 1.0 TSI Highline R-Line

Compact Hatch: Volkswagen Polo 1.0TSI Comfortline Auto

Crossover: Audi Q3 35 TFSI S Line

Executive SUV: BMW X3 xDrive20d M Sport

Family Car: Mazda CX-5 2.0 Dynamic Auto

Fun Hatch: Volkswagen Polo GTI

Leisure Double-Cab: Volkswagen Amarok 3.0 V6 TDI Highline 4Motion

Performance Car: Toyota GR Supra 3.0T

Premium Hatch: Volkswagen Golf GTI

Premium SUV: BMW X5 xDrive30d M-Sport

Cars.co.za said that the Toyota Fortuner (Adventure SUV), Volkswagen Amarok, Arteon and T-Cross (Leisure Double-Cab, Business Class and Compact Family Car) and BMW X3 (Executive SUV) did not score the highest marks from the panel of judges following evaluation, yet emerged victorious because consumers rated their brands’ experiences higher than those of their competitors.

In four categories (Compact Hatch, Performance Car, Premium Hatch and Premium SUV), the winning derivatives received both the highest consumer category- and judges’ scores.

In three categories (Budget Car, Family Car and Fun Car), the winners received the highest judges’ scores, but not the highest consumer category scores. In the Crossover category, the winner received neither the highest consumer category – nor the judges’ scores, but won on aggregate.


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These are the best cars in South Africa across 13 major categories