Johannesburg - The Suzuki Ignis is the overall winner of Independent Media’s 2017 Drive360 Awards.

The compact crossover vehicle was selected from 34 shortlisted cars chosen by Independent Media’s motoring journalists, and announced at a prize-giving ceremony in Rosebank, Johannesburg, on Friday afternoon.

The judges are from Drive360, a motoring supplement appearing weekly in The Star, Pretoria News, Daily News, The Mercury and Cape Times; and from the IOL Motoring website.

“The Ignis is a small car that punches above its weight in a very competitive market segment,” said Drive360 editor Denis Droppa, who was one of the judges.

“The competition was fierce this year from among the dozens of new cars, bakkies and SUVs launched  in 2017, but our judges were unanimous in selecting the Ignis as their overall winner. With its sassy styling and appealingly modern cabin, along with surprisingly perky urban performance, this little urban adventurer goes above and beyond what is expected at the price, which starts at R170 000.

“It’s refreshing to see a budget car winning the title. Value for money is a very important criterion in our awards, and the Ignis was unbeaten in this regard. It’s a budget car with real appeal and desirability, rather than just something you settle for on affordability,” he added.

The Suzuki Ignis, which also won Drive360’s Compact Car category, was launched in South Africa in June in a range of three 1.2-litre derivatives priced between R169 900 and R204 900, packaged with a three-year/100 000km warranty and two-year/30 000km service plan.

Equipment levels across the range are generous, with the flagship GLX version boasting keyless starting, fully automatic climate control, rear park distance control, and a six-speaker audio system with Bluetooth connectivity. Range-wide safety comprises dual front airbags and ABS brakes.

Awards were also handed out in the following categories:

Family Car

The Peugeot 3008 was voted Drive360’s family car of the year, the judges citing its striking new exterior and class-leading cabin, which features some of the classiest looking materials and design details seen in this segment.

Luxury Car

The BMW M760Li xDrive got the Luxury Car award. “BMW’s ludicrous new limo takes the ‘more is more’ philosophy to the absolute extreme. Its twin-turbo V12 makes it the fastest BMW on the market, but it’s indulgently luxurious,” said the judges.

Adventure Vehicle

The Range Rover Velar scooped the Adventure Vehicle prize in a hotly contested category, the judges saying: “This right-sized luxury SUV packages the brand’s well-known offroad ability into the most modern and high-tech Range Rover yet seen.”

Performance Car

The Porsche 911 GT3 walked off with the Performance Car title. “It may not be the fastest 911 but it’s arguably the most exciting. With an engine that howls to 9000rpm, this purist Porsche lays on the emotion several layers thick.”

Coolest Ride

The Alfa Romeo Giulia QV took the Coolest Ride category, voted by readers of the Drive360 motoring supplement and IOL Motoring.

Drive360