Wednesday, 20 October, 2021


2021 Car of the Year winners announced

The South African Car of the Year trophy, awarded since 1986, is the country’s most highly respected and sought-after motoring accolade. While the competition has evolved over the years, one thing has remained true to the contest: it celebrates and rewards automotive excellence.

To ensure that the South African Guild of Motoring Journalists (SAGMJ) stay relevant in the awarding of the Car of the Year (COTY) title, they continuously develop their systems.

“There was a concerted effort by the guild to meet with manufacturers and ensure that we were cognisant of their input on various matters relating to COTY,” says Carl Wepener, chairperson of the guild.

“The COTY Committee also paid close attention to worldwide competition trends and took advice from experts in the field. The result is that we created more categories and will also be making provision for the new mobility-enhanced vehicles we will see more of in the future. We are very proud of two of the new categories, the Motor Enthusiast’s Choice and our Jurors Excellence Award.

“In the past two years, the public has become more involved in our voting process. This voting counted towards the juror scores and effectively held the weight of a single juror. Having discovered that this made minimal impact, we wanted to encourage the public to be more involved and we felt that the public rightly deserved their own award: the Motor Enthusiast’s Choice Award.

“The scoring process is so much more than just juror scoring. Once our expert panel concluded scoring, the automated scoring factors that cover sales performance, segment share and value for money, are applied. The automated scoring information was provided by Lightstone Auto, which provides data-driven insight, online market intelligence and new-vehicle sales data to the South African automotive industry.

“Our Jurors Excellence Award uses raw scoring to reveal which vehicle received the highest scores before automated factors were included.”

Wepener says the guild added additional honours at their annual general meeting in June. The award for the Most Admired OEM was presented to Stellantis. The Lifetime PR Achiever’s Award was presented to Lindsay Pieterse from BMW. Although these two awards are not officially part of the COTY competition, they are just as prestigious.

The 2021 South African Car of the Year category winners are:

Budget category: Toyota Starlet

Compact category: Hyundai Venue

Compact-family category as well as Jurors Excellence Award: Peugeot 2008 SUV

Family category: Audi A4

Premium category: BMW 4 Series

Adventure category: Toyota Land Cruiser Prado

Double-cab category: Toyota Hilux Double Cab

Performance category: Porsche 911 Turbo S

New-energy category: Porsche Taycan

Motor-enthusiasts’ choice: Mercedes-Benz E-Class

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