The 2022 SA Car of The Year (COTY) trophy was on Monday awarded to the Toyota Corolla Cross that launched locally at the end of 2021. A TimesLIVE Motoring favourite, the Corolla Cross is a competitively priced crossover SUV that offers sharp styling, a generously-specced and spacious interior and the choice of a frugal hybrid petrol powertrain. This newcomer also won the “Compact family” and “New-energy” categories.
Organised by the SA Guild of Motoring Journalists (SAGMJ) since 1986, the COTY is perhaps the country’s most respected and sought-after motoring accolade. This year's competition was particularly exciting, with the 2022 COTY jurors selecting 25 semi-finalists from more than 49 entrants with some hotly contested category rivalries.
Overall winner aside, the competition also acknowledged category winners:
Compact: Toyota Urban Cruiser
Compact family: Toyota Corolla Cross
Midsize: Mercedes-Benz C-Class
Performance: Volkswagen Golf GTI
New-energy: Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid
Adventure SUV: Toyota Land Cruiser 300
Double cab 4x4: Nissan Navara
The “Budget” and “Premium” categories did not have any 2022 contenders.
Additional honours instituted at the SAGMJ's AGM in 2021 were the Most Admired OEM and the best public relations officer in the industry. This year's respective winners are Mercedes-Benz SA and Deon Sonnekus who works at Hyundai SA.