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Wednesday / 19 June 2024
HomeFeaturesEvery South African Car of the Year winner ever

Every South African Car of the Year winner ever

The 2024 South African Car of the Year competition has wrapped up, adding another winner to the long-running tradition.

This year, the Car of the Year (COTY) title went to the ultra-luxurious new BMW 7 Series, which edged past the Suzuki Fronx and BMW M2 in second and third place overall, respectively.

The 7 Series also managed to snag the Juror’s Excellence Award where it is noted for its “exceptional driving experience, vehicle quality, and craftsmanship” based on the jurors’ input scores.

With this year’s competition concluded, BMW’s creation is officially the 38th vehicle to be added to the COTY list.

A long list of winners

The Car of the Year competition is an annual tradition organized by the South African Guild of Mobility Journalists, which involves a lengthy process of evaluating that year’s models according to a variety of criteria.

Additionally, the assessment process includes market data supplied by Lightstone Auto, which looks at each model’s popularity with consumers, its sales volume and market share, and how it compares to segment rivals.

This ensures that the winners include a diverse selection of models across price brackets, body types, and drivetrains, and is not exclusively dominated by high-end options.

Started in 1986, the COTY awards have racked up 38 winners, which you can see below:

  • 2024 – BMW 7 Series
  • 2023 – Ford Ranger
  • 2022 – Toyota Corolla Cross
  • 2021 – Peugeot 2008
  • 2020 – Jaguar I-Pace
  • 2019 – Mercedes-Benz A-Class
  • 2018 – Porsche Panamera
  • 2017 – Opel Astra
  • 2016 – Volvo XC90
  • 2015 – Porsche Macan S Diesel
  • 2014 – Porsche Cayman S
  • 2013 – Porsche Boxster
  • 2012 – Hyundai Elantra 1.8 GLS
  • 2011 – VW Polo 1.6 TDI and BMW 530d
  • 2010 – VW Golf 6 1.4 TSI Comfortline
  • 2009 – Honda Accord 2.4i Executive
  • 2008 – Mazda 2 1.5 Individual
  • 2007 – Honda Civic 1.8 VXi
  • 2006 – Audi A3 Sportback 2.0 TFSI
  • 2005 – Volvo S40 2.4i
  • 2004 – Renault Mégane 1.9 dCi
  • 2003 – VW Polo 1.4 TDI
  • 2002 – Audi A4 1.9 TDI
  • 2001 – BMW 320d
  • 2000 – Renault Clio 1.4 RT
  • 1999 – Alfa Romeo 156 T-Spark
  • 1998 – Ford Fiesta Fun
  • 1997 – BMW 528i
  • 1996 – Audi A4 1.8
  • 1995 – Opel Astra 160iS
  • 1994 – Opel Kadett 140
  • 1993 – BMW 316i
  • 1992 – Nissan Maxima 300 SE
  • 1991 – Opel Monza 160 GSi
  • 1990 – BMW 525i
  • 1989 – Toyota Corolla GLi Executive
  • 1988 – BMW 735i
  • 1987 – Mercedes-Benz 260E
  • 1986 – Toyota Corolla GLi

BMW holds the record of scoring the most wins overall, being triumphant in 1988, 1990, 1993, 1997, 2001, 2011, and 2024.

Other noteworthy victors from recent years include the 2023 Ford Ranger, which was the first leisure 4×4 double cab in the competition’s history to take first place.

Similarly, the Jaguar I-Pace is the first and only battery-powered car to have cracked the top spot, which is particularly noteworthy given the relative scarcity of electric vehicles (EVs) in South Africa in 2020.

However, the rapid increase in the availability of EVs in the last four years means that these models are more and more likely to feature in future competitions.

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