The WesBank / South African Guild of Motoring Journalists Car of the Year competition underwent a substantial update for 2011 and, in keeping with the change in format, a tie for top place between the BMW 530d and VW Polo 1,6 TDI.
The announcement was made by the South African Guild of Motoring Journalists (SAGMJ) at a WesBank-sponsored gala banquet at Gallagher Convention Centre, Midrand, last night.
The change in this year’s competition came in the form of a complex and undisclosed judging and scoring system that allocated 25 points in total between three of the finalist vehicles and no less than three as is done in Europe.
As in the past, the announcement of the winner still only comes after a stringent process of voting and physical testing of eligible vehicles launched in SA during the last year (which now includes double cab pick-ups) at the Gerotek vehicle testing facility outside Pretoria
All of the judges scores – which took into account such criteria as value for money, safety, dynamics and technology – were open for scrutiny from the moment the winners were announced, and with no more than ten points at a time being allowed to be allocated to any one vehicle by a judge.
As such, the result was always going to be a closely-contested affair and the overall result pays testimony to that! Although both vehicles were separated by more than R400 000 in sticker price, they proved to be tangibly ahead of their in-class rivals, and ultimately could not be separated by a single point at the end of a long and thorough process.
“Volkswagen Group South Africa is delighted to have the new Polo named as the winner of the 2011 South African Car of the Year. This is an immense recognition of the Volkswagen Brand following Golf’s win in 2010,” said David Powels, Managing Director, Volkswagen Group South Africa.
Delivering his acceptance speech, Bodo Donauer, Managing Director of BMW South Africa, said “An award of this nature represents the highest possible praise from the most experienced car critics in the country. I am extremely proud to accept this award on behalf of BMW South Africa. However, it is an award that belongs to the incredible designers, engineers and inventors that work for BMW now, and that have worked for BMW over the years.”
1. BMW 530d 91 Points & VW Polo 1,6 TDI 77 kW Comfortline – 91 Points
2. Ford Figo 1,4 Ambiente – 77 Points
3. Hyundai Sonata 2,4 GLS Exec – 76 Points
4. Kia Sportage 2,0 VGT AWD AT – 63 Points
5. Citroen DS3 THP 150 Sport – 59 Points
6. Hyundai ix35 2,0 CRDI GLS AWD AT – 48 Points
7. Opel Astra 1,4T Enjoy Plus – 39 Points
8. Honda CR-Z 1,5i V-TEC – 21 Points
9. VW Amarok 2,0 BiTDI 4×2 Double Cab – 10 Points