The annual Golden Steering Wheel awards - now in their 29th year - were announced in Germany this week and several models already available in South Africa scooped accolades.

The annual Golden Steering Wheel awards - now in their 29th year - were announced in Germany this week and several models already available in South Africa scooped accolades.

In the small car category, the Mitsubishi Colt was judged the best. Good news for South Africans was the announcement that this Colt could make its way here soon.

At the recent Auto Africa show, Mitsubishi SA head Sascha Gaede said the existing Mitsubishi Colt pick-up available here was already being prepared for a possible name change, with the Rodeo model name now being more prominent.

The Colt beat its DaimlerChrysler relative, the Smart ForFour, and the Renault Modus.

Up one size, the Skoda Octavia beat BMW's 1 Series, and the brand-new Mercedes-Benz A-Class came in third.

In the executive saloon segment, the Audi took the honours with its new A6, lauded for its design, equipment and comfort. It out-scored the Mercedes-Benz CLS and the Maserati Quattroporte.

In the cabriolet segment, the Mercedes-Benz SLK was voted top in class, followed by the BMW 6 Series and the Mini convertible.

When it came to estates, Volvo's V50 was noted for its attractive design, high safety standard and its number of innovative solutions. BMW's 5 Series touring was second, followed by the new Opel Astra estate.