Source - https://motorpress.co.za/pt/articles/74d3e545-0b39-41d3-a4e7-14842865c13e?rid=5de3e3c0-25f9-4448-abac-8066acc79d27
Leading online motoring portal Cars.co.za is proud to announce the 39 finalists of the 2023/24 Cars.co.za Consumer Awards – South Africa’s most comprehensive and authoritative motoring awards programme.
Now in its seventh iteration, the CarsAwards – or #CarsAwards, as it is widely known on social media – annually recognises the best purchasing propositions in 13 respective segments of the domestic new-vehicle market.
“The CarsAwards underlines Cars.co.za’s commitment to helping our users understand the best way to spend their hard-earned Rands when purchasing new vehicles,” says Cars.co.za Managing Director, Amasi Mwela. “As new-car prices escalate, it further underlines the need to make educated and informed buying decisions.
“The CarsAwards brings together the insights of the top motoring experts in the country combined with feedback from real people who drive these vehicles every day to help our users make the best choices for their budget and lifestyle,” Mwela adds.
Categories reflect a changing marketplace
“One of the most important differences between the Cars.co.za Consumer Awards and other automotive awards programmes is that it continues to evolve each year to reflect South Africa’s ever-changing motoring landscape,” explains Hannes Oosthuizen, who has been the head of the CarsAwards project since its inception in 2015.
“We scrutinise sales data and market trends annually to define categories that are actually relevant to the South African consumer. That is why there are now so many crossover- and SUV-dominated segments, because South African car buyers have shown a predilection for those types of vehicles.”
The 13 CarsAwards category winners will be selected from the list of 39 vehicles, which includes model derivatives from no fewer than 18 brands represented in the South African market. All vehicles available on the South African market on September 1, 2023 were eligible, not only new products that were launched during the past 12 months.
In some instances, models that would be launched in the domestic market in the upcoming months, and of which the panel had acquired enough experience and information to make a decision, were also included, as long as they had been priced and were available for order.
The 39 finalists for the 2023/24 programme were selected by the extended Cars.co.za editorial team; each member scored the 65 pre-selected semi-finalists individually, based on the "Filters of Eligibility" and the "Pillars of Success" of the 13 respective categories. Once the scores were tallied, 3 finalists remained in each of the segments.
“Pricing is a critical factor for most car buyers in this tough economic climate, so we’ve focused our categories lower down the pricing ladder,” explains Oosthuizen. “Still, there remains healthy demand for premium SUVs, which is why that category was retained.”
Consider, for example, that the market for sedans has shrunk dramatically; there are not enough strong-selling contenders to justify a sedan category in the 2023/24 programme. South Africa’s fledgling electric vehicle market is growing, but very slowly… Nonetheless, the CarsAwards has a category focused on the country’s most affordable EVs for the first time.
“On the one hand, the CarsAwards is about being in tune with consumer trends, but on the other hand, we also need to educate. Therefore, it’s important to take a leadership role in the EV space,” Oosthuizen adds. “And it’s worth noting that even when it comes to EVs, which are typically exorbitantly priced, we’ve focused on the most affordable offerings.”
BMW, Toyota have the most finalists
Prospecton-based Toyota and luxury brand BMW have the most finalists with 5 contenders apiece. Hot on their heels are Haval and Ora (GWM’s two sub-brands), as well as Suzuki.
The soon-to-be-launched Ora 03 Super Lux is the country’s most affordable EV, and another Chinese brand – Chery – makes the final for the first time with its revised Tiggo 8 Pro Max.
Full list of 2023/24 CarsAwards Finalists
Entry-Level Hatch (Priced below R250 000)
- Renault Kiger 1.0 Zen
- Suzuki Celerio 1.0 GL
- Suzuki Swift 1.2 GLX
Budget Hatch (R250 000 to R350 000)
- Renault Clio 1.0 Turbo Zen
- Suzuki Baleno 1.5 GLX
- Toyota Starlet 1.5 XR
Compact Hatch (R350 000 to R500 000)
- Honda Fit 1.5 Elegance
- Opel Corsa 1.2T Elegance
- Volkswagen Polo 1.0 TSI 85kW R-Line
Entry-Level Crossover (R300 000 to R400 000)
- Chery Tiggo 4 Pro 1.5 Elite Auto
- Haval Jolion 1.5T Premium
- Suzuki Grand Vitara 1.5 GLX manual
Compact Family Car (R400 000 to R500 000)
- Haval Jolion S Super Luxury
- Renault Duster 1.5dCi Intens
- Toyota Corolla Cross 1.8 XR
Family Car (R600 000 to R800 000)
- Chery Tiggo 8 Pro Max 2.0TGDi 390 Executive
- Haval H6 1.5T HEV Ultra Luxury
- Kia Sportage 1.6CRDi EX
Premium Crossover (R700 000 to R1 million)
- Audi Q3 Sportback 40TFSI quattro S Line
- BMW X1 sDrive18d M Sport
- Volvo XC40 B4 Ultimate Dark
Executive SUV (R1 million to R1.3 million)
- BMW X3 xDrive20d M Sport
- Lexus NX 350h F Sport
- Mercedes-Benz GLC220d 4Matic Avantgarde
Premium SUV (R1.3m to R1.8 million)
- BMW iX xDrive40
- BMW X5 xDrive30d M Sport
- Land Rover Defender 110 D250 SE County
Adventure SUV (R800 000 to R1.2 million)
- Ford Everest 3.0 V6 Wildtrak
- Isuzu MU-X 3.0TD Onyx 4x4
- Toyota Fortuner 2.8GD-6 4x4 VX
Performance Car (Below R1 million)
- Honda Civic Type R
- Toyota GR Corolla Circuit
- Toyota GR Yaris Rally
Leisure Double Cab (Above R800 000)
- Ford Ranger 3.0 V6 EcoBoost Raptor 4WD
- Ford Ranger 3.0 V6 Wildtrak 4WD
- Volkswagen Amarok 3.0TDI V6 Aventura 4Motion
EV (Below R1.3 million)
- BMW iX1 xDrive30 M Sport
- Ora 03 Super Lux
- Volvo XC40 Twin Motor Ultimate
Each of the 39 finalists (three per category) will now be subjected to back-to-back testing at the renowned Gerotek proving ground in Gauteng by the combined judging panel (the Cars.co.za editorial team members and respected guest judges from various backgrounds and fields of expertise) on 2 and 3 November 2023.
The judges for the 2023/24 Cars.co.za Consumer Awards are:
- Ashley Oldfield (Cars.co.za)
- David Taylor (Cars.co.za)
- Gero Lilleike (Cars.co.za)
- Ciro De Siena (Cars.co.za)
- Jacob Moshokoa (EWN)
- Wendy Knowler (Consumer Specialist – 702/Cape Talk/Sunday Times)
- Brenwin Naidu (Sowetan, Sunday Times)
- Muzi Sambo (Independent – Youtube)
- MrHowMuch (Independent – Youtube/Social)
- Rebaneilwe Semakane (Social, Voice of Wits)
- Juliet McGuire (Independent – Cape Talk)
- Nafisa Akabor (Tech Expert)
- Phuti Mpyane (Business Day)
- Lerato Matebese (Top Gear)
- Kumbi Mtshakazi (Kumbi-M on Cars)
- Mpho Mahlangu (Independent – Social)
- Tshidi Malebana (Independent – Social)
- Sibonelo Myeni (uKhozi FM, iMoto)
- Brendon Staniforth (Maroelamedia)
- Clement Manyathela (702)
The 20 judges’ scores for each of the 39 finalists will only count for 50% of the final standings, however. The other 50% will be based on rankings that the respective vehicle brands represented by the finalists achieved in the Cars.co.za Ownership Satisfaction Survey. The data incorporates feedback from thousands of vehicle owners, based on their experiences of their vehicles (less than four years old and serviced through franchised outlets).
“The Cars.co.za Consumer Awards programme is designed to be a guide for all new passenger vehicle buyers, not only those who follow motoring publications," Oosthuizen concludes. “With 50% of the final scores determined by brands’ ratings in the survey, a vehicle only really stands a very good chance of winning if it is a good product in the eyes of the judges and if its brand delivers solid after-sales service.