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The 8 best cars in South Africa right now

The South African Guild of Mobility Journalists (SAGMJ) has officially announced the winners of the 2024 Car of the Year (COTY) competition.

A total of 80 vehicles were brought before the judging committee this year, which was cut down to a list of 25 semi-finalists spread across eight categories.

The group was then whittled down to just 18 finalists – 10 of which have been eliminated to give us the winners in each category.

The eight categories were Budget/Compact, Compact Family, Family, Premium, Adventure SUV, 4×4 Double Cab, Luxury, and Performance.

It’s worth noting that the SAGMJ dropped the “New Energy Vehicle” class in 2024 owing to the uptick in electric and hybrid car adoption, so from here on out these models will be competing in their intended segments against petrol and diesel autos.

Every vehicle undergoes an evaluation and jury scoring process, while Lightstone Auto provides data-driven insight into each car’s popularity with customers.

This allows the committee to factor in a model’s market relevance with regard to volume and sales share while comparing it to its immediate competitors.

Having undergone this lengthy process, the SAGMJ announced the overall winners of the 2024 COTY awards:

In their specific categories, the 7 Series secured the Luxury title while the Fronx and M2 took the Budget and Performance roles, respectively.

It’s been a great year for BMW overall, as it won three of the eight awards with the last one going to the X1 in the Family segment.

The Toyota Urban Cruiser beat out two rivals to take home the Compact Family title, and the Mercedes-Benz GLC is the proud receiver of the Premium award.

One noteworthy entry is the VW Amarok, which was the sole entry in the 4×4 Double Cab segment this year, and thus was already a winner by the semi-finals.

For those who may be wondering about the Ford Ranger Raptor that launched in 2023, it was not allowed to compete in the Double Cab group as it is technically an extension of an existing line-up, and the Ranger already won the COTY award in 2023.

Instead, the Raptor made it as a finalist in the Performance category on account of its twin-turbo V6 petrol engine, though it lost out to the M2.

Last but certainly not least is the Mahindra Scorpio-N, which won the Adventure SUV segment, and was also given the Motor Enthusiast’s Choice award which is determined through a public vote on social media.

The BMW 7 Series was also the beneficiary of the COTY Juror’s Excellence Award, which recognizes the jurors’ admiration for its “exceptional driving experience, vehicle quality, and craftsmanship based on the jurors’ input scores.”

Following this victory in the 38th COTY competition, BMW now holds the record with the most wins overall, having triumphed six other times in 1988, 1990, 1993, 1997, 2001, and 2011.

The chairperson of the SAGMJ and the 2024 COTY competition, Mabuyane Mabuza, congratulated the winners and all the competitor entries.

“It’s heartening to see the automotive industry’s dedication to providing high-quality, technologically advanced products across all categories to meet modern buyers’ mobility needs,” she said.

“The eight category winners underscore the industry’s intense competition and manufacturers’ dedication to producing outstanding products across all price ranges, particularly in the changed automotive market post-COVID-19,” said Charles Nortje, Managing Director of Old Mutual Insure – one of the main sponsors of the competition.

The winners

These are the official winners of the 2024 SAGMJ COTY competition.

Click on the underlined names to visit TopAuto Car Prices for information on pricing and new models on offer from the various manufacturers.

Budget/Compact – Suzuki Fronx

Compact Family – Toyota Urban Cruiser

Family – BMW X1

Premium – Mercedes-Benz GLC

Adventure SUV – Mahindra Scorpio-N

4×4 Double Cab – VW Amarok

Luxury – BMW 7 Series

Performance – BMW M2

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