Not a Tazz, a ‘Taas’
Vehicle owners and motoring media judge the best sedans, hatches, bakkies and dream wheels
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,
CARS.co.za 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 Cars.co.za 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 Cars.co.za 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