Not a Tazz, a ‘Taas’

Ve­hi­cle own­ers and mo­tor­ing me­dia judge the best sedans, hatches, bakkies and dream wheels

The Witness - Wheels - - FRONT PAGE - AL­WYN VILJOEN • al­wyn.viljoen@wit­

Toy­ota’s e-Pal­ette is the ba­sis of Monet, a strate­gic part­ner­ship with Soft­Bank Cor­po­ra­tion that will see the world’s largest car maker ren­der trans­port as a ser­vice (TaaS).

For SA’s best value ve­hi­cles that still have steer­ing wheels, and Wes­Bank have an­nounced the three ve­hi­cles they rate as the best value in 13 cat­e­gories.

Now in its fourth year, the #CarsAwards is a very use­ful buy­ers guide for any­one look­ing for a new hatch, sedan or bakkie.

Volk­swa­gen lead the nom­i­na­tions with seven de­riv­a­tives, fol­lowed by BMW and Ford (four apiece), and Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo (three apiece).

Porsche and Isuzu make their first ap­pear­ances in fi­nals of the #CarsAwards pro­gramme, while Honda and Range Rover re­turn to the list of 39 af­ter fail­ing to make the last round in 2017/18.

Of the 39 ve­hi­cles in the fi­nals, 17 have fea­tured be­fore, as the pro­gramme se­lects from all ve­hi­cles cur­rently on sale, not just new mod­els that were in­tro­duced in the last year.

The fi­nal­ists will be judged dur­ing a two-day test session at the Gerotek ve­hi­cle test farm, out­side Pre­to­ria West, by the ex­tended ed­i­to­rial team, as well as 14 re­spected and in­flu­en­tial guest judges with a broad base of ex­per­tise.

Af­ter-sales ser­vice half the score

The opin­ions of the 20 judges will count for half the scores, while the re­main­ing half will be based on rank­ings that the re­spec­tive ve­hi­cles’ brands achieved in the Own­er­ship Sat­is­fac­tion Sur­vey in part­ner­ship with lead­ing data spe­cial­ists Light­stone Con­sumer.

This means the own­er­ship ex­pe­ri­ence of thou­sands of ve­hi­cle own­ers will de­ter­mine the 2018/19 Brand of the Year, which Suzuki has won for the past two years.

The 13 cat­e­gories range from bud­get cars to lux­ury cars for over a mil­lion rands.

Be­low are the af­ford­able and the as­pi­ra­tional fi­nal­ists.

Bud­get Car (un­der R200k)

The win­ner of this cat­e­gory rep­re­sents as much good car as pos­si­ble for the ask­ing price. with the two front airbags and ABS manda­tory.

• Kia Pi­canto 1.2 Style

• Suzuki Swift 1.2 GL

• VW Polo Vivo 1.4 Com­fort­line

Com­pact Hatch (R200k – R300k)

The win­ner of this award must truly re­flect what is best about mod­ern au­to­mo­tive de­sign and en­gi­neer­ing, but present it in a con­cen­trated, rea­son­ably af­ford­able form.

• Ford Fi­esta 1.0T Ti­ta­nium

• Mazda2 1.5 In­di­vid­ual Plus Auto

• VW Polo 1.0 TSI Com­fort­line Auto

Ad­ven­ture SUV (R550k – R700k)

The aim is to find a fam­ily trans­porter with off-road abil­i­ties and com­fort on long roads.

• Ford Ever­est 3.2 4WD XLT

• Isuzu MU-X 3.0 4WD

• Toy­ota For­tuner 2.8 GD-6 4x4 Auto

Com­pact Fam­ily (R300k – R400k)

Safety and spa­cious­ness are as im­por­tant as fuel ef­fi­ciency.

• Ford EcoS­port 1.0T Ti­ta­nium Auto

• Hyundai Creta 1.6 Ex­ec­u­tive Tur­bod­iesel Auto

• Nis­san Qashqai 1.2T Acenta Auto

Fam­ily Car (R400k – R500k)

The win­ner of this cat­e­gory should be ideal not only for the morn­ing school run, but also school hol­i­day trips to dis­tant lo­ca­tions.

• Mazda CX-5 2.0 In­di­vid­ual

• Peu­geot 3008 2.0 HDI Al­lure • VW Tiguan Allspace 1.4 TSI Trend­line

Dou­ble Cab (R500k– R800k)

The judges are look­ing for the a dou­ble cab that can be five dif­fer­ent ve­hi­cles — from lux­u­ri­ous tourer to rub­bish re­mover.

• Ford Ranger 3.2 4x4 Wild­trak Auto

• Toy­ota Hilux 2.8 GD-6 4x4 Raider Auto

• VW Amarok 3.0 V6 TDI High­line Plus 4Mo­tion Auto

Busi­ness Class (R600k – R800k)

The panel will be look­ing for an as­pi­ra­tional ve­hi­cle that will ap­peal to the im­age-con­scious driver who places a pri­or­ity on per­for­mance, dy­nam­ics, tech­nol­ogy and de­sign.

• Audi A5 Sport­back 2.0TFSI qu­at­tro Sport S Line sports

• Mercedes-Benz C300 AMG Line

• VW Ar­teon 2.0TSI 4Mo­tion R-De­sign

Ex­ec­u­tive SUV (R700k – R900k)

Driv­e­train per­for­mance and re­fined road man­ners are pri­or­i­ties, as is a cabin that fea­tures up­mar­ket ma­te­ri­als and the most up-to-date tech­nol­ogy.

• Audi Q5 2.0 TDI qu­at­tro Sport S-Line sports

• BMW X3 xDrive20d M Sport auto

• Volvo XC60 D5 R-De­sign

Pre­mium Com­pact (R450k – R600k)

This cat­e­gory com­bines pre­mium hatch­backs and crossovers. The win­ner has to of­fer out­stand­ing qual­ity, re­fine­ment, per­for­mance and the lat­est tech­nolo­gies.

• Mercedes-Benz A200 AMG-Line

• Volk­swa­gen Golf GTI

• Volvo XC40 T3 R-De­sign

Hot Hatch (un­der R700 000)

The fo­cus is on the tra­di­tional hot hatch, and the win­ner will of­fer a to­tal pack­age that is not out­landishly priced.

• BMW M140i sports-auto

• Honda Civic Type R

• Re­nault Me­gane R.S. 280 Lux

Per­for­mance Car (un­der R1 mil­lion)

While su­per­cars and other “ex­otics” are mere fan­tasies for most, there are cars priced be­low the mag­i­cal R1 mil­lion mark that of­fer near-su­per­car thrills and per­for­mance. In this cat­e­gory, we are not only look­ing for siz­zling per­for­mance, but also driver en­gage­ment on or off road.

• Audi TT RS

• BMW M2 Com­pe­ti­tion (man­ual)

• Porsche 718 Cay­man S

Pre­mium SUV (R1 mln – R1,3 mln)

The judges are look­ing for a pres­tige-badged pre­mium SUV that is tai­lor­made for im­age and buy­ers ob­sessed with prac­ti­cal­ity.

• Porsche Cayenne S

• Range Rover Ve­lar D300 R-Dy­namic SE

• VW Touareg V6 TDI Lux­ury R-Line

Ex­ec­u­tive Sedan (R800k – R1 mln)

These tech­no­log­i­cal mas­ter­pieces rep­re­sent an en­vi­able blend of first­class lux­ury and com­fort, and busi­ness-class tech­nol­ogy and dy­namic ap­peal.

Pres­tige is usu­ally a given in this seg­ment, but we’re also look­ing for sig­nif­i­cant tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vance­ment, yet with­out com­pro­mis­ing the level of com­fort and quiet style that these sedans are renowned for.

• BMW 520d M Sport

• Mercedes-Benz E220 d Avant­garde

• Volvo S90 D5 AWD R-De­sign

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