Here they are: SA Car of the Year finalists

Industry news

By: IOL Motoring Staff

Johannesburg - The finalists for the 2017 South African Car of the Year competition have been announced.

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File picture: Denis Balibouse / Reuters.Audi A4 Sedan.Honda Civic Sedan.Hyundai Tucson.Jaguar F-Pace.Mazda CX-3.Opel Astra.Renault Kadjar.Toyota Fortuner.Volkswagen Passat.Volkswagen Tiguan.

The 10 finalists were revealed on Tuesday at the Johannesburg Country Club in Woodmead by the SA Guild of Motoring Journalists and headline sponsor WesBank.

The finalists, all of which are new or updated models released on the South African market since the previous Car of the Year nominations, were selected by the 28 member Car of the Year Jury, from an original list of 35 eligible vehicle ranges.

This is the second year in which the nominations have been for the model range as a whole, rather than a specific derivative as in the past.

In alphabetical order, they are:

Audi A4 Sedan

Honda Civic

Hyundai Tucson

Jaguar F-Pace

Mazda CX-3

Opel Astra

Renault Kadjar

Toyota Fortuner

Volkswagen Passat

Volkswagen Tiguan

And now...

The next step will be two days of detailed evaluation at the beginning of February 2017, including dynamic testing at the newly rebuilt Kyalami circuit.

The routes and modules are designed to test the cars in conditions as similar as possible to how an average consumer would drive them, as well as allowing the jury members to re-acquaint themselves with the cars, specifically in terms of design, build quality, ergonomics, fuel-consumption, environmental friendliness, safety features and value for money.

Peer review

The jury - which includes IOL Motoring editor Jason Woosey - will also be able to consult the MAPO library of test data, specifications and comparative pricing, as well as comparative parts prices, so as to rate each car - not so much against the rest of the finalists as against other offerings in its market segment.

That's worth remembering, because the definition of the SA Car of the Year, ever since the inception of the award in 1986, has always been “the vehicle range that best represents automotive excellence when compared to its segment peers”.

But to find out which one it is, you'll have to wait until the night of the gala banquet on 15 March 2017, just as we, and the jury members, will.

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