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South African 2024 Car of the Year finalists announced

The Toyota GR Corolla is a finalist in the Performance category.
The Toyota GR Corolla is a finalist in the Performance category.
Image: Supplied

The 2024 Car of the Year (COTY) committee on Friday named the finalists for this year's competition.

Hosted by the South African Guild of Mobility Journalists (SAGMJ), the 38th running of this prestigious event is again sponsored by Old Mutual Insure.  

The COTY validation committee selects vehicles, assessing eligibility against the rules stipulating that only new model ranges and not a new derivative of an existing model range qualify for entry. The only exception is a sports derivative of an existing model range, which is eligible to compete in the coveted Performance category.

For the 2024 competition, more than 80 vehicles were evaluated, with 30 meeting stringent entry criteria. SAGMJ members cast their votes, elevating 25 to semifinalists in December last year. This list has now been whittled down to 18 final contenders. 

“Congratulations to the finalists selected from the highly competitive semifinalist group in all eight COTY categories,” said Mabuyane Mabuza, chairperson of the 2023 and 2024 COTY committee and vice-chairperson of the SAGMJ.

The Omoda C5 is vying for overall honours in the hotly contested Compact Family category.
The Omoda C5 is vying for overall honours in the hotly contested Compact Family category.
Image: Supplied

“Rapid technological advances intensify the annual competition, with innovative features becoming commonplace, even in entry-level vehicles, showcasing the evolution of automotive technology.”

In early March, the competition enters the testing phase at Zwartkops Raceway, where the juror group assesses the vehicles. Subsequently, the final scoring round incorporates data from Lightstone Auto, using automated scoring based on market segment sales volumes and spec-adjusted competitor pricing.

“The culmination of the COTY competition is its most thrilling phase. Using their expertise and experience, jurors meticulously evaluate every aspect of the cars. Their discernment determines the crème de la crème that caters to diverse market needs and elevates local mobility standards,” said Mabuza.

The 18 finalists representing the eight categories:

Budget and Compact

  • Suzuki Fronx
  • Citroën C3

Compact Family

  • Omoda C5
  • Suzuki Grand Vitara
  • Toyota Urban Cruiser

Family

  • BMW X1
  • GWM Ora 03

Premium

  • Mercedes-Benz GLC
  • Lexus NX

Luxury

  • BMW 7 Series
  • Mercedes-Benz EQS

4x4 Double Cab

  • Volkswagen Amarok

Adventure SUV

  • Lexus LX
  • Mahindra Scorpio N

Performance

  • Toyota Corolla GR
  • BMW M2
  • Honda Civic Type R
  • Ford Ranger Raptor

 


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