After a four-week scoring process, the superb Toyota Corolla Cross was voted the South African Car of the Year (Coty).
“Although we saw the competition develop and grow over the past 36 years with introducing category winners, additional categories, automated scoring, the public’s favourite and Juror’s Excellence Award, one thing did not change – the exceptional contenders and their proud makers,” said Carl Wepener, chairperson of the South African Guild of Mobility Journalists (SAGMJ).
Mercedes-Benz’s C-Class won this year’s prestigious Juror’s Excellence Award. Introduced in 2021, the award is particularly impressive as it only considers the raw scoring of the expert jurors without automated scoring factors. The overall winner includes additional scoring criteria like sales, segment share and spec-adjusted pricing.
The category winners for this year’s competition are:
• Compact category: Toyota Urban Cruiser
• Compact family category: Toyota Corolla Cross
• Midsize category: Mercedes-Benz C-Class
• Performance category: Volkswagen Golf GTI
• New energy category: Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid
• Adventure SUV category: Toyota Land Cruiser 300
• Double-cab 4×4 category: Nissan Navara
The budget and premium categories did not have any 2022 contenders.
The public has become more involved in the Coty scoring/voting process over the last four years via social media. Two years ago, the motor enthusiasts’ choice category was introduced. A social media blitz lasting six weeks saw the vehicle the public responded to the most in a hotly contended all-out popularity contest. It was not an easy battle, as PRs seized the opportunity to showcase their finalists, but the Peugeot 208 beat out stiff competition to take the win.
“One thing has remained true to this remarkable contest; it celebrates and rewards automotive excellence. Our jurors are experts in their field and clearly understand vehicles and the mobility sector,” said Graham Eagle, chairperson of the 2022 Coty committee.
“The ongoing scoring system was developed in 2017 to enable jurors to compare category contenders. Every year, we adapt the scoring system slightly to consider new global and local market trends to ensure the credibility and objectivity of our competition,” said Eagle.
Additional honours instituted at the SAGMJ’s annual general meeting in 2021 were the most admired original equipment manufacturer and the best PR in the industry, said Wepener. “This year’s respective winners are Mercedes-Benz SA and Deon Sonnekus of Hyundai SA, and although these two awards are not officially part of the Coty competition, they are just as prestigious.”