The Top 25 Finalists for the 2022 South African Car of the Year (COTY) competition has been announced. This prestigious competition, staged by the South African Guild of Mobility Journalists (SAGMJ), has run continuously since 1986.
“This year’s COTY finalists show us the tremendous speed of research and development in the automotive industry. The finalists represent the best of the best in South Africa, and we are eager to see who the winners of this year’s competition will be,” says Carl Wepener, Chairman of the SAGMJ.
Besides the overall winner’s crown, finalists can also win one of ten categories: Budget, Compact, Compact Family, Midsize, Premium, Luxury, Performance, New Energy, Adventure SUV and 4X4 Double Cab. The first category, Budget, has no contenders this year.
The most competitive categories in this year’s competition are the Midsize and Performance categories, with five finalists each. The Midsize category comprises the Audi A3, Hyundai’s Palisade, Santa Fe and Staria, and the Mercedes Benz C-Class. BMW’s 128ti and M3, Porsche 911 Carrera GTS, Toyota GR Yaris and Volkswagen Golf GTI make up the finalists in the Performance category.
Strong contenders in the Compact and Compact Family categories represent imported brands, with Toyota the only OEM that manufactures vehicles locally.
This year, the New Energy category represents a wider range of vehicles, which indicates the increased focus by OEMs in this segment of the market.
The Adventure SUV and 4×4 Double Cab categories are just as competitive this year as the 2021 COTY competition, where a newcomer in the class is competing against an established, locally manufactured rival.
With six finalists in five different categories, Toyota has the most finalists in this year’s competition. Hyundai is in second place, with five finalists in three different categories.
This year’s semi-finalists group was very competitive, with some contenders just missing the Finalist list. The Honda Fit, Land Rover Defender V8 and Haval Jolion missed the cut-off mark by only one point.
The 25 finalists for the 2022 COTY competition are highlighted in the Table below.
“The Car of the Year committee is extremely pleased with the variety of vehicles that made the Finalist round of this year’s competition. Our jury panel of experts has a tough task ahead of them,” says Graham Eagle, Chairman of the 2022 COTY committee.
The final round of scoring will commence shortly and continue until early April. This round also includes data from Lightstone, which is used for automated scoring based on segment sales volumes and spec-adjusted competitor pricing.
“The 2022 COTY committee wishes all contenders good luck. The Category Winners and Overall SA Car of the Year Winner will be announced in May,” concludes Eagle.
This year again will see a Motor Enthusiast’s Choice (public vote) as introduced during last year’s competition. Posts of each Finalist will be regularly published on social media, and the Finalist with the most likes wins. The official hashtag for this year’s COTY is #2022sacoty.