The 2011 South African Car of the Year (SACOTY) was announced last night at a WesBank sponsored gala banquet, attended by the who’s who of the South African motoring industry, at Gallagher Convention Centre, Johannesburg.
For the first time, this year’s competition was conducted using a the more modern and completely transparent European Car of the Year (COTY) based scoring system and, for the first time in the 26-year history of the SACOTY awards, produced a tie for first place. Ladies and gentleman, the winner of the 2011 SA Car of the Year title is, the BMW 530d and the Volkswagen Polo 1.6 TDI, with both contenders having scored the exact same number of points to share the top spot this year.
The adoption of the European scoring system meant that South African Guild of Motoring Journalists (SAGMJ) Jury members were given 25 points in total to allocate to no more than five of the finalists and no less than three, as is done in Europe. With all the scores and the judge’s comments being 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, it was always going to be a close race, which the final audited scores reflect.
The COTY finalists are put through their paces at the world renowned Gerotek vehicle test facility outside Pretoria before voting takes place. The WesBank / SAGMJ COTY competition is about automotive excellence and the winning vehicle must score highly in its own class, not against each other as is often thought, but across a variety of categories including those that reflect value for money, safety, dynamics, technology and aesthetics to name a few.
Although separated by more than R400 000 in sticker price, the BMW 530d and Volkswagen Polo 1.6 TDI were decidedly well ahead of their peers in their relevant classes and ultimately could not be separated by a single point at the end of a long and thorough process.
The final results of the 2011 SACOTY are as follows:
|1st||Volkswagen Polo 1.6 TDI||91|
|2nd||Ford Figo 1.4 Ambiente||77|
|3rd||Hyundai Sonata 2.4 GLS Exec||76|
|4th||Kia Sportage 2.0 VGT AWD AT||63|
|5th||Citroen DS3 THP 150 Sport||59|
|6th||Hyundai ix35 2.0 CRDI GLS AWD AT||48|
|7th||Opel Astra 1.4T Enjoy Plus||38|
|8th||Honda CR-Z 1.5i V-Tec||21|
|9th||VW Amarok 2.0 BiTDI 4×2 Double Cab||10|