Bobby Cheetham Coty Jury Member
HERE they are, the finalists for the 2014 WesBank/ South African Guild of Motoring Journalists' (SAGMJ) Car of the Year.
The announcement of the finalists follows a vote cast by a 30-member jury, elected by their peers, on the 40 semifinalists.
The nine finalists are (in alphabetical order):
Audi A3 Sportback 1.4T FSI Manual;
Jaguar F-TYPE 3.0 V6 S;
Lexus IS 350 F-Sport;
Mercedes-Benz A 45 AMG;
Peugeot 208 GTI;
Porsche Cayman S;
Renault Clio4 66kW Turbo Dynamique;
Volkswagen Golf 7 1.4 TSI 90kW Comfortline DSG; Volvo V40 D3 Geartronic Excel
The next step in the process is a stringent two-day evaluation session to be held in Gauteng in January next year.
Testing procedures at the world-renowned Gerotek test facility near Pretoria remains a critical aspect. This allows the jury members to assess the cars independently under the conditions individual vehicles would be expected to perform under, with routes and modules designed to test the vehicles in a similar way the average consumer would use them.
The evaluation days offer the jury the opportunity to reacquaint themselves with the vehicles and specific aspects such as aesthetics, build quality, ergonomics, fuel consumption, environmental friendliness, safety features and value for money, to name but a few.
The jury will also have access to independent performance test data, comparative pricing and specification data from RGT Smart, as well as comparative parts pricing data, compiled by Malcolm Kinsey.
While all of the models are deemed to represent examples of outstanding automotive engineering, there can be only one winner and, in the eyes of the Coty jury, that model will epitomise all-round automotive excellence – the sole criterion for Car of the Year.
The winner of the 2014 WesBank/SAGMJ Car of the Year will be revealed at a gala banquet in February next year.