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Finalists under scrutiny for Cars.co.za Consumer Awards powered by WesBank

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4 November 2019: A pool of 39 vehicles from 17 manufacturers have been put under scrutiny at the testing phase of the fifth annual Cars.co.za Consumer Awards, powered by WesBank. The nominated vehicles were put through their paces and tested under vigorous conditions by a total of 20 judges over two days at the Gerotek test facility near Pretoria.

The finalist nominees across 13 categories were judged back-to-back by a diverse judging panel, which includes experienced motoring journalists from the Cars.co.za editorial team and 14 respected and influential guest judges with a broad base of expertise.

“We are excited and privileged to sponsor the Cars.co.za Consumer Awards for the fifth consecutive year. This association is especially important because consumers are our main focus and they have an actual say in which vehicles are honoured by the #CarsAwards,” said Lebogang Gaoaketse, Communications, Social Media and PR Manager at WesBank.

“This prestigious awards programme, which has grown year on year in stature, reach and influence has always been a perfect fit with the WesBank brand because it resonates with the South African public and speaks to our core values around consumer centricity” added Gaoaketse.

The findings of the 20 judges will only count for half of the finalists’ total scores – the remaining 50% will be based on rankings that the respective vehicles’ brands achieved in the Cars.co.za Ownership Satisfaction Survey. This survey is based on results from thousands of respondents who complete an in-depth 50-question survey. The data incorporates feedback from thousands of vehicle owners, based on their experiences of their own vehicles, which are less than five years old and serviced through franchised outlets. 

The Cars.co.za Consumer Awards are unique in that all vehicles currently available in the South African market, provided they were introduced to the market by 1 September 2019 are eligible.

Hannes Oosthuizen, Consumer Experience Manager at Cars.co.za, said: “The Cars.co.za Consumer Awards is the leading awards programme in the country as it helps consumers make easy and informed car buying decisions. We do all the upfront hard work for consumers through back-to-back testing and analysing of after-sales service, all that is left is for you is to select the one that appeals most from our shortlist and apply for finance. This is the fourth Cars.co.za Consumer Awards with WesBank as a partner and we are grateful for the association as it has been a very successful relationship and we look forward to continuing the partnership in the future.”

“In my view, credibility and relevance are two of the most significant features underpinning this competition,” said Brenwin Naidu, Sunday Times Lifestyle and Sowetan Motoring editor. “The former is evidenced by the rigorous testing processes and further complemented by the sheer vastness in the collective wealth of experience wielded by the judging panel. This adds undisputed credence to the victors that emerge in the respective categories. The latter, meanwhile, is ensured by the existence of said categories. There is resonance with motoring consumers across all ends of the spectrum.”

Radio presenter and motoring writer, Wezile Bonani has been a #CarsAwards judge for three consecutive years and for him it is a huge honour to be able to judge one of the biggest awards on the continent. “The awards have a significant impact because consumers have a say and can participate and give feedback. The categories that appeal to me the most are the SUV and budget car segments because they are very competitive.”

“The budget car segment is my favourite,” said guest judge and media personality, Claire Mawisa. “The #CarsAwards give you an understanding of who WesBank is as a brand, what they stand for and it shows you that they put consumers first. For me owning a car means freedom. When I bought my first car it came with a sense of freedom. I was the first person in my family to own a car and it changed my family’s life because now they can go anywhere at any time, so it more than just my ride.”

Kojo Baffoe is a writer and content producer. He was the founding editor of Blaque Magazine and former editor of men’s business and lifestyle magazine, Destiny Man. “For me the #CarsAwards testing days are exciting as you get to experience different styles of terrain and tracks and in this kind of setting you get to experience the car and what it is capable of. The awards are also an important aspect of the consumer car buying journey in that they take into consideration the perspective of a cross-section of individuals and most importantly, consumers get to vote and weigh in on the final decision.”

I’m hugely honoured to be on the #CarsAwards judging panel again this year. I am the longest serving judge and this is my fifth time judging,” said Wendy Knowler – one of South Africa’s most authoritative and respected consumer journalists. “This year I am excited to judge the budget car category as it is one of the biggest selling segments in the vehicle market. Giving consumers the power through knowledge and information to make informed choices is what I advocate for and it is why I am supportive of these awards. The judging process is exhaustive and authentic which means the results in each category points the South African consumer, in the opinion of the judges and owners, in the right direction and enables them to narrow down their choices.”

The 2019/20 #CarsAwards finalists in the 13 categories are:

Budget Car

Kia Picanto 1.2 Style

Suzuki Swift 1.2 GLX

Volkswagen Polo Vivo Trendline

Compact Hatch

Ford Fiesta 1.0 Trend Auto

Mazda2 1.5 Individual Auto

Volkswagen Polo 1.0 TSI Comfortline

Premium Hatch

Mazda3 2.0 Astina

Mercedes-Benz A200 AMG-Line

Volkswagen Golf GTI

Executive SUV

BMW X3 xDrive20d M-Sport

Range Rover Evoque D180 R-Dynamic SE

Volvo XC60 D5 R-Design

Compact Family Car

Renault Duster 1.5 dCi Prestige

Suzuki Vitara 1.4T GLX Auto

Volkswagen T-Cross 1.0 TSI 85kW Highline R-Line

Family Car

Mazda CX-5 2.0 Dynamic Auto

Peugeot 3008 2.0 HDI Allure

Toyota RAV4 2.0 GX Auto

Adventure SUV

Ford Everest 2.0 Bi-Turbo 4WD Limited

Haval H9 Luxury

Toyota Fortuner 2.8GD-6 4×4 Auto

Premium SUV

Audi Q8 55 TFSI Quattro

BMW X5 xDrive30d M-Sport

Range Rover Velar D300 R-Dynamic HSE

Crossover

Audi Q3 35 TFSI S Line

Jaguar E-Pace D180 AWD R-Dynamic

Volvo XC40 D4 R-Design

Leisure Double Cab

Ford Ranger 2.0 BiTDi Wildtrak 4×4 Auto

Toyota Hilux 2.8 GD-6 Legend 50 4×4 Auto

Volkswagen Amarok 3.0 V6 TDI Highline 4Motion

Business Class

BMW 320d Sport Line

Mercedes-Benz C300 AMG Line

Volkswagen Arteon 2.0 TSI 4Motion R-Line

Fun Hatch

Mini Cooper S Sports-Auto

Suzuki Swift Sport 1.4T

Volkswagen Polo GTI

Performance Car

BMW M2 Competition M-DCT

Ford Mustang GT 5.0

Toyota Supra 3.0T

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

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