The guys behind me seem friendly enough. Bump into them anywhere and they will strike you as normal, cheery, polite and helpful.
Pillars of society. Role models. They pay their taxes, adhere vociferously to traffic laws and help old ladies cross the street.
At least that’s what they do for 364 days of the year. On that other day, you don’t want to get in their way.
It’s the day the CAR editorial team convenes for our annual Top 12 Best Buys “discussion” and this year it was on 12 January. With a suitably automotive-infused venue booked – a conference room at Franschhoek Motor Museum – and plenty of coffee on tap, the guys sat down, rolled up their sleeves and prepared for the scrap that would follow.
As always, the rules were simple: bar one or two instances, we considered a model’s entire range; we looked at all facets of the cars in that range – package, personality, performance and, ultimately, price – and we voted only on cars we have actually driven and tested ourselves. And, obviously, no eye-gouging was allowed.
For the most part, we were in agreement on which range should emerge victorious, but in other instances – this year, it was the Compact Executive Sedan and Performance Car segments – it got rather heated…
The end result, though, is a definitive list of the very best cars chosen by South Africa’s most respected motoring magazine. If you’re looking to buy a new or pre-owned car, our Top 12 Best Buys feature that starts on page 38 and Top 12 Used Best Buys (flip to page 120) are essential reading.