SA car of the year semi-finalists announced

The competition is the first where the public will be able to cast their votes. Motoring enthusiasts will have the choice to vote from cheap, hot hatchbacks to SUVs – which have dominated the list.

The Volvo XC40 is a semifinalist in the 2018 SA Car of the Year competition. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Guild of Motoring Journalists has announced the semi-finalists in the 2019 AutoTrader SA Car of the Year competition.

The competition is the first where the public will be able to cast their votes. Motoring enthusiasts will have the choice to vote from cheap, hot hatchbacks to sports utility vehicles (SUVs) – which have dominated the list.

The semi-finalists were decided by motoring journalists registered with the guild and from consumer votes who made their mark online.

Honda, Suzuki, Volvo, Renault and Opel accounted for half of the semi-finalists which is an indication of consumer practices and vehicle popularity in the country.

Honda is represented by the Amaze sedan and the ever-popular Civic Type R. The student-friendly Swift Hatchback and the Jimny 4X4 made the semis for Suzuki. The most expected presence comes from Volvo – the XC40 and XC60 are two of the many SUVs that consumers can vote for.

Jaguar’s entry-level SUV the E-pace is well represented along with the Range Rover Velar.

Haval could become the first Chinese car maker to win the award if their H9 model scoops the award.

Other vehicles in the running include the Alfa Romeo Stelvio, the Mercedes-Benz A-Class, the Porsche Cayenne and Nissan Micra.

AutoTrader CEO George Mienie says the high number of SUVs on the list shows the growing popularity of these vehicles in South Africa and around the world.

Chairman of the South African Guild of Motor Journalists Rubin van Niekerk says finalists will be put through structured tests procedures in March 2019 before scoring each against its class competitors. The results will be based on 11 aspects ranging from engine performance to engine design.

The full list of semi-finalists in alphabetical order:

  1. Alfa Romeo Stelvio

  2. Haval H9

  3. Honda Civic Type R

  4. Honda Amaze

  5. Hyundai Kona

  6. Jaguar E-Pace

  7. Land Rover Range Rover Velar

  8. Lexus ES

  9. Mercedes-Benz A-Class

  10. Mitsubishi Pajero Sport

  11. Nissan Micra

  12. Opel Grandland X

  13. Opel Crossland X

  14. Porsche Cayenne

  15. Renault Duster

  16. Renault Mégane RS

  17. Suzuki Swift

  18. Suzuki Jimny

  19. Volvo XC60

  20. Volvo XC40