Mercedes-Benz vehicles topped a record eight of 22 categories in the annual People’s Wheels awards yesterday.
The company, whose East London plant manufactures the C-Class, took first place in:
- Compact executive cars: A-Class/CLA;
- Family-friendly cars: C-Class;
- Mid-sized executive cars: E-Class;
- Premium luxury cars: S-Class;
- Hot hatches/sedans/coupés: A45/CLA 45 AMG;
- Large MPVs & people carriers: Viano;
- Hybrids/electrics: E-Class hybrid; and
- Light delivery vehicles: Vito panel van.
The competition is run by The Future Group, Standard Bank Vehicle and Asset Finance, TNS Global and The Sunday Times.
More than 60000 votes determined which vehicles the South African motoring public considered the best. The results were announced by MC and comedian Nik Rabinowitz to an audience of automotive leaders, associated service providers and car enthusiasts.
The overall people’s choice – the vehicle that won the most votes – was the Ford Ranger Double Cab. The leisure-styled bakkie is no stranger to accolades having taken victory last year in its category.
It made history this year when it became the first light commercial vehicle to win overall honours.
Mercedes-Benz dominated in terms of volume with eight category wins followed by Volkswagen, which topped two categories. BMW and Porsche scored one each, bringing Germany’s tally of gold medals to 12.
Land Rover, Toyota and Ford took two wins apiece, followed by Lamborghini, Aston Martin, Jaguar and Kia with one each.
Mercedes-Benz spokeswoman Lynette Skriker said the company was “elated” with the results.
“Keeping customer satisfaction at the centre of our product and service offerings is a winning formula, as is obvious from these awards,” she said. “Even more satisfactory is that our products are finding favour across the board – from all segments of our passenger cars portfolio, to the vans and electric vehicle business.”
Nicholas Nkosi, head of vehicle and asset finance at Standard Bank, said the competition gave all motorists a voice.
“It gives car enthusiasts and those looking to decide on what car to purchase a broad overview of our dynamic market,” he said.
Germany scored another category victory when tyre-maker Continental topped the list of preferred tyre replacement brands again while reigning champion Engen took first prize in fuel brands.
Results from an ownership survey showed that important attributes for vehicle owners were reliability, driving experience, looks, styling and build quality.
“Noise and vibration, ownership costs, cargo capacity and after-sales service received the poorest scores – similar to previous years,” said Richard Rice, director of business development at TNS Global.
Volkswagen’s Polo Vivo won in the budget buys category; the Kia Rio in compact commuters; Aston Martin Rapide in super luxury cars; and the Lamborghini Aventador in the Super Sports Cars category. The Ford Ecosport won the small SUV & crossover category while the Toyota Fortuner took top honours in the compact SUV & crossover category. The Range Rover Evoque was named overall winner in the premium class SUV & crossover category while the Range Rover Sport took the luxury SUV and crossover category.