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2022 South African Car of the Year: And the winner is…

Published Jun 6, 2022


JOHANNESBURG - The very first South African Car of the Year competition, 36 years ago, was won by the Toyota Corolla Twincam, with its newer-generation GLI Executive sibling taking overall victory three years later in 1989, and now history has repeated itself.

The Toyota Corolla Cross is South Africa’s 2022 Car of the Year, as judged by a jury of 25 automotive writers as selected by the members of the South African Guild of Motoring Journalists.

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Having morphed into a crossover SUV format, the Toyota Corolla Cross is a clever adaptation to the times, and it also brings frugal hybrid motoring to a wider audience.

The Toyota Corolla Cross was selected as overall winner, and it also won the Compact Family and New-Energy categories of the competition.

These were the category winners:

  • Compact Category: Toyota Urban Cruiser
  • Compact Family Category: Toyota Corolla Cross
  • Midsize Category: Mercedes-Benz C-Class
  • Performance Category: Volkswagen Golf GTI
  • New-Energy Category: Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid
  • Adventure SUV Category: Toyota Landcruiser 300
  • Double Cab 4×4 Category: Nissan Navara

The winners were whittled down from a list of 25 finalists, all of which were launched during the year of 2021.

The competition results are a combination of juror scoring and a few automated scoring factors that take things like sales and spec-adjusted pricing into consideration. This automated scoring information is supplied by Lightstone Auto.

However, there is a Juror’s Excellence Award that is derived only from juror scoring and this year’s winner is the Mercedes C-Class, which also won the Midsize Category.

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“One thing has remained true to this remarkable contest; it celebrates and rewards automotive excellence. Our jurors are experts in their field and clearly understand vehicles and the mobility sector,” says Graham Eagle, chairperson of the 2022 COTY committee.

“The ongoing scoring system was developed in 2017 to enable jurors to compare category contenders. Every year, we adapt the scoring system slightly to consider new global and local market trends to ensure the credibility and objectivity of our competition,” Eagle added.

There is also a Motor Enthusiasts Choice Category, whose results are derived from public popularity as seen on social media, and this year’s winner was the Peugeot 208.

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Previous South African Car of the Year winners

2021: Peugeot 2008

2020: Jaguar I-Pace

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2019: Mercedes-Benz A-Class

2018: Porsche Panamera

2017: Opel Astra

2016: Volvo XC90

2015: Porsche Macan S Diesel

2014: Porsche Cayman S

2013: Porsche Boxster

2012: Hyundai Elantra 1.8 GLS

2011: VW Polo 1.6 TDI and BMW 530d

2010: VW Golf 6 1.4 TSI Comfortline

2009: Honda Accord 2.4i Executive

2008: Mazda 2 1.5 Individual

2007: Honda Civic 1.8 VXi

2006: Audi A3 Sportback 2.0 TFSI

2005: Volvo S40 2.4i

2004: Renault Mégane 1.9 dCi

2003: VW Polo 1.4 TDI

2002: Audi A4 1.9 TDI

2001: BMW 320d

2000: Renault Clio 1.4 RT

1999: Alfa Romeo 156 T-Spark

1998: Ford Fiesta Fun

1997: BMW 528i

1996: Audi A4 1.8

1995: Opel Astra 160iS

1994: Opel Kadett 140

1993: BMW 316i

1992: Nissan Maxima 300 SE

1991: Opel Monza 160 GSi

1990 - BMW 525i

1989: Toyota Corolla GLi Executive

1988: BMW 735i

1987: Mercedes-Benz 260E

1986: Toyota Corolla GLi

IOL Motoring

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