Bobby Cheetham Coty Jury member
THE chips are down and the 12 finalists for the 2013 WesBank/ South African Guild of Motoring Journalists (SAGMJ) Car of the Year (Coty) have been announced.
The announcement of the Coty finalists follows a vote cast by a 29-member jury.
Prices range from a budget car which costs R177995, to a super sportscar at R639000. This year a bakkie is again included in the line-up.
The finalists are: (in alphabetical order):
- 2012 BMW 3 Series 320i Automatic – R379000;
- 2012 Ford Ranger 3.2 XLT 4X4 Double Cab Diesel AT – R456760;
- 2012 Hyundai i30 1.8 Executive – R249900;
- 2012 Kia Rio 1.4 TEC Hatch MT – R177995;
- 2012 Lexus GS 350 EX – R581800;
- 2012 Mercedes-Benz B 180 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY – R325000;
- 2012 Nissan Juke 1.6 DIG-T Tekna (Leather) – R274000;
- 2012 Opel Meriva 1.4T Cosmo – R260300;
- 2012 Porsche Boxster – R639000;
- 2012 Range Rover Evoque Si4 Dynamic 5-door – R616800;
- 2012 Toyota 86 High Spec 6MT – R329400; and
- 2012 Toyota Yaris 1.5 HSD Xs – R223800.
The next step in the process is to determine the winner from a two-day test session to be held in February next year at the Gerotek test facility near Pretoria.
The testing at Gerotek will allow the vehicles to be evaluated under the conditions individual vehicles would be expected to perform under, with routes designed to test the vehicles in a similar way the average consumer would use them.
The test 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.
South Africa's Car of the Year competition – sponsored for the past 28 years by wheels bank, WesBank, with additional support from Total and Hollard Insurance – is unique in the world in that it is determined by three rounds of voting.
The first round of voting is open to all full members of the SAGMJ and yields the semifinalists, where after a second round of voting, open to only the jury, determines the finalists. Following the two-day test sessions at Gerotek, a final allocation of points by the jury is tallied and audited before an overall winner is announced. A significant change to this year's competition is the manner in which the Coty jury was determined.
Following a Car of the Year workshop held earlier this year, the jury is no longer compiled from those SAGMJ members who had the greatest exposure to the eligible model ranges (by means of launch events and test cars). Instead, after casting a vote in the first round, each member had the opportunity to vote for 25 of his or her peers to serve on the jury.
The members with the most votes – to a maximum of 30 members – were co-opted onto the Coty jury. 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 winner of the 2013 WesBank/SAGMJ Car of the Year will be revealed at a gala banquet in March next year.