19 November 2018: A panel of expert judges has put a fleet of 39 vehicles under scrutiny as part of the testing phase for the fourth annual Cars.co.za Consumer Awards powered by WesBank.

Three finalists in each of the 13 categories were recently assessed on a wide variety of merits by a total of 20 judges over two days at the Gerotek test facility near Pretoria. The panel comprised Cars.co.za’s in-house team of expert motoring journalists together with a group of hand-picked guest judges, each with a specialist background or field of expertise.

Consumers have an actual say in which vehicles are honoured by the #CarsAwards. 50% of a respective vehicle’s score is based on detailed feedback on after-sales servicing and ownership. It’s not unusual that the expert judging panel’s favourite vehicle does not win due to the impact of the Ownership Satisfaction Survey which is based on thousands of respondents who complete the in-depth 50-question survey.As with all past competitions, results from the survey will completely determine the coveted 2018/19 Brand of the Year.

The Cars.co.za Consumer Awards also differs from other annual automotive award programmes in that all vehicles currently available in the South African market (provided they were introduced by 1 September, 2018) are eligible. Other awards recognise vehicles which were launched in the past year only.

Hannes Oosthuizen, Consumer Experience Manager at Cars.co.za, said: “We continue to hone the testing procedures and voting systems utilised by #CarsAwards as we strive to serve the consumer better. Ultimately, these Awards are not about handing out trophies, but to give car buyers considered advice. We believe our process of back-to-back testing and real-world consumer input is key to #CarsAwards achieving those goals.”

“I’m not a petrol head, I’m a single mom,” said guest judge Claire Mawisa, Carte Blanche investigative journalist. “I speak a different language to a motoring expert. I’m conscious of practicality. I often approach a car with trollies, prams and picnic baskets. If a rear seat folding mechanism is too complex it can be a turn off. I want everything to be clearly marked and easy to understand. Something as simple as a cupholder or USB port can make a difference in how I score a car.”

“Pairing a smartphone to a car’s infotainment needs to be quick and seamless,” said Nafisa Akabor, tech journalist and guest judge. “Button layout must be easy to understand. I don’t want to look for the aircon switch for five minutes. It’s also crucial for a driver to keep their eyes on the road, so how intuitive a vehicle’s various systems are is important.”

“We need to take a step back and ask who the consumer is,” said Khulekani Dumisa, motoring expert and Budget Car judge. “The Budget Car category is a critical segment. For many this is a first purchase and affordability is key, not only in terms of price but also running costs. In the current economy consumers have become more discerning. People want to spend less but get more for their money.”

Ashley Oldfield, performance vehicle specialist and Cars.co.za content manager said: “The Performance Car and Hot Hatch categories are not just about which car can set the fastest lap time around the dynamic handling track. Speed plays a role for sure, but it’s more about the driving experience and emotional connection between driver and machine. Things like confidence-inspiring handling and a spine-tingling exhaust note play a larger part in the judging process for these categories.”

“For 60 years WesBank has been at the heart of South Africa’s automotive industry, and we feel privileged to be able to partner with Cars.co.za for this project,” said Ghana Msibi, WesBank’s Executive Head of Sales and Marketing. “We’re in an era where the new vehicle market is evolving and consumers have varying requirements. These awards truly resonate with the consumer. Offering the public an opportunity to have a say in judging aligns with WesBank’s consumer-centric focus.”

WesBank, South Africa’s leading vehicle and asset finance house, recently announced it would renew its partnership with the Cars.co.za Consumer Awards. This will be the third consecutive year that WesBank is sponsoring this prestigious awards programme, which has grown year on year in stature, reach and influence.

Follow the Cars.co.za Consumer Awards – powered by WesBank on Cars.co.za and its social media channels with the #CarsAwards hashtag. To participate in the Cars.co.za Ownership Satisfaction Survey or to get more information about the programme visit http://www.carsawards.co.za


The 13 categories and respective finalists are:

Budget Car (up to R200 000)

Kia Picanto 1.2 Style

Suzuki Swift 1.2 GL

Volkswagen Polo Vivo 1.4 Comfortline

Compact Hatch (from R200k to R300k)

Ford Fiesta 1.0T Titanium

Mazda2 1.5 Individual Plus auto

Volkswagen Polo 1.0TSI Comfortline auto

Premium Compact (from R450k to R600k)

Mercedes-Benz A200 AMG Line

Volkswagen Golf GTI

Volvo XC40 T3 R-Design

Compact Family Car (from R300k to R400k)

Ford EcoSport 1.0 Titanium Auto

Hyundai Creta 1.6D Executive

Nissan Qashqai 1.2 Acenta Auto

Family Car (from R400k to R500k)

Mazda CX-5 2.0 Individual

Peugeot 3008 2.0 HDI Allure

Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace 1.4 TSI Trendline

Business Class (from R600k to R800k)

Audi A5 Sportback 2.0 TFSI S-Line

Mercedes-Benz C300 AMG

VW Arteon 2.0TSI 4Motion R-Line

Leisure Double-Cab Bakkie (from R500k to R800k)

Ford Ranger 3.2 Wildtrak 4×4 Auto

Toyota Hilux 2.8 GD-6 4×4 Raider Auto

Volkswagen Amarok 3.0 V6 TDI 4Motion Highline Plus

Adventure SUV (from R550k to R700k)

Ford Everest 3.2 4WD XLT

Isuzu MU-X 3.0 4WD

Toyota Fortuner 2.8 GD-6 4×4 Auto

Executive SUV (from R700k to R900k)

Audi Q5 2.0 TDI quattro S-Line

BMW X3 xDrive20d M Sport auto

Volvo XC60 D5 R-Design

Premium SUV (from R1m to R1.3m)

Porsche Cayenne S

Range Rover Velar D300 R-Dynamic SE

Volkswagen Touareg V6 TDI Luxury R-Line

Hot Hatch (below R700 000)

BMW M140i 5-door sports auto

Honda Civic Type R

Renault Megane RS Lux

Performance Car (below R1 million)

Audi TT RS

BMW M2 Competition

Porsche 718 Cayman S Automatic

Executive Sedan (from R800k to R1million)

BMW 520d M Sport

Mercedes-Benz E220d Avantgarde

Volvo S90 D5 R-Design

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