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Here are the Best Cars in South Africa in 2024

Check out the winners from the 2024 SA Car of the Year Awards.

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The 2024 SA Car of the Year (COTY) Awards took place in Johannesburg on the 8th of May 2024, with the industry, South African Guild of Mobility Journalists (SAGMJ), and media paying homage to the best vehicles to hit South African roads over the past year.

The BMW 7 Series clinched the overall SA Car of the Year title as the German-engineered release emerged as the standout contender among 18 finalists. The Suzuki Fronx secured second place overall, with the BMW M2 claiming third.

Charles Nortje, Managing Director of Old Mutual Insure (OMI), a leading insurer in South Africa and a main sponsor of COTY for the past two years, expressed his delight at the outcome of this year’s COTY competition. He remarked on the industry’s rapid advancements, particularly in automotive safety.

“Congratulations to the overall victor and category winners of the 38th annual COTY competition. With ever-heightening competition levels year on year, and with new technology and better value-for-money offerings from the different brands, the winners of this year’s contest should feel immensely proud of achieving top honours.”

The 2024 COTY competition saw 18 finalists carefully selected from an impressive pool of 80 qualifying vehicles representing various fiercely contested categories. The competition featured Budget/Compact, Compact Family, Family, Premium, Adventure SUV, 4×4 Double Cab, Luxury, and Performance categories. With a greater representation of EVs across the different categories, the previous New Energy category was dropped in this year’s competition. 

The category winners of the 2024 COTY competition are:

  • 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: Volkswagen Amarok
  • Luxury: BMW 7 Series
  • Performance: BMW M2
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The Mahindra Scorpio-N also won the “Motor Enthusiasts Choice” award, which was determined by public votes in a social media campaign led by OMI. This category was added three years ago to recognise the increasing importance of public engagement in the COTY competition.

Another accolade for the BMW brand, which clinched the overall COTY victory plus three category wins, is the COTY Jurors Excellence Award granted to the 7 Series, recognising the jurors’ admiration for its exceptional driving experience, vehicle quality, and craftsmanship based on the jurors’ input scores.

After the formal vehicle evaluation and jury scoring, Lightstone Auto*, COTY’s competition partner, contributes data-driven insights and online market intelligence. This allows COTY to objectively measure factors in market relevance regarding volume and share of segment, while also recognising the importance of a product’s value relative to its immediate market competitors. This change has been particularly successful, resulting in recent winners ranging from an EV, two family crossovers, a 4×4 Double Cab, and for 2024, a luxury sedan.

Mabuyane Mabuza, Chairperson of the SAGMJ and the 2023 and 2024 COTY competitions, 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.”

“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,” Nortje remarked.

For the 2024 COTY competition, OMI created the exclusive OMI COTY Academy, where a diverse group of seasoned jurors and vibrant newcomers from the digital landscape shared their expertise. This collaboration continuously elevates competition standards, ensuring relevance and status in the industry and among car buyers themselves.

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Mabuza explained that the COTY competition evaluates all entrants based on design, technology, engineering, powertrain performance, handling, ingenuity and safety. After the expert panel completes scoring, the automated factors provided by Lightstone Auto offer data-driven insights and online market intelligence that transcends merely scoring the driving experience.

“After securing victory in the 38th edition of the COTY competition in 2024, BMW now holds the record for the most overall wins in this prestigious showcase, having triumphed in six previous years, namely  1988, 1990, 1993, 1997, 2001 and 2011. It is remarkable that the BMW 7 Series now marks their seventh win in the competition!”

“We extend our gratitude to all participating manufacturers in the 2024 COTY competition and express heartfelt appreciation to our sponsors, partners, and dedicated Guild members for upholding the esteemed reputation of our nation’s premier car competition,” Mabuza concluded.

Since 1986, the SAGMJ-hosted annual COTY competition has maintained its reputation as the country’s most respected and coveted motoring event.

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