These are the best cars in South Africa

CAR Magazine has announced its annual Top 12 Best Buys for 2015, after the magazine’s editors cast their votes for the best vehicles in 12 categories of the South African new vehicle market.

Technology took centre-stage as the editors sifted through more than 1,000 vehicles with nominees across all categories recognised for their innovation.

CAR Magazine editor, Steve Smith, said: “Vehicles that offer better combinations of performance, efficiency, safety and convenience technology than rivals of similar prices score highly in terms of value for money and, as a result, tend to achieve higher overall road test scores and win categories of the CAR Top 12 Best Buys.”

Top achievers included Jaguar Land Rover, scooping the coveted Car Manufacturer of the Year Award, while Ford (Ranger and Kuga) and Volkswagen (Polo, Polo Vivo) picked up two awards each.

The rest of the spoils were shared amongst industry stalwarts, Audi (A3 Sportback), BMW (3 Series), Toyota (Corolla Quest), Ferrari (458 Spider), Range Rover (Sport) and Mercedes-Benz (S-Class).


In finalising the candidates for category wins, the CAR Magazine journalist team factored in the road tests and driving impressions that were published in CAR during the previous year – meaning only vehicles they had actually driven themselves were considered.

In most categories, a vehicle’s entire range and not a particular model was considered.

The selection criteria includes package, personality, performance and price, however, Smith said: “You can add safety to the list. Safety is intrinsic to the process and underpins every selection we make. A model would not make it onto a shortlist if the satisfactory level of safety technology was not in place.”

CAR’s Top 12 Best Buys for 2015:

  • Budget Car: Chevrolet Sport Campus
  • Light Hatchback: Volkswagen Polo
  • Light Sedan: Volkswagen Polo Vivo
VW Polo Vivo
VW Polo Vivo
  • Compact Hatchback: Audi A3/A3 Sportback
  • Compact Sedan: Toyota Corolla Quest
  • Compact Executive Sedan: BMW 3 Series
  • Luxury Car: Mercedes-Benz S-Class
  • Performance Car: Ferrari 458 Spider
Ferrari 458 Spider
Ferrari 458 Spider
  • Light SUV/Crossover: Nissan Juke
  • Compact SUV/Crossover: Ford Kuga
  • Large SUV/Crossover: Range Rover Sport
  • Double Cab Bakkie: Ford Ranger
Ford Ranger
Ford Ranger

Additional categories:

  • Company of the Year: Jaguar Land Rover
  • Design of the Year (Production Car): Mercedes-AMG GT
  • Design of the Year (Concept Car): Volkswagen XL Sport
  • Redesign of the Year: Toyota Yaris
  • Green Award: Volvo
  • Engine of the Year: BMW i8
  • Safety Award: Drive-ID
  • Most underrated product: Mazda CX-5
  • Motorsport Award: Sheldon van der Linde
  • Company to watch: Opel

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These are the best cars in South Africa