Porsche Macan S Diesel. Picture: WesBank.

Midrand - In what's been described as one of the tightest contests ever, the Porsche Macan S Diesel has won the WesBank SAGMJ Car of the Year competition, making a hat trick of consecutive wins for Porsche after the Boxster in 2013 and the Cayman S in 2014. This is certainly going to prove controversial.

The announcement was made at a glitzy banquet in Johannesburg on Wednesday night and follows an intense evaluation process that each of the 11 finalists was subjected to earlier in March.

The vehicles are put through their paces at the Gerotek test facility in Gauteng, after which each of the 28 South African Guild of Motoring Journalists jury members vote for a winner. Each juror is given 50 points to divide between at least seven vehicles and may not allocate more than 10 points to any one vehicle.

Rather than comparing the diverse group of finalists to each other, jurors look at how each one fares within the context of its own natural competitors. 

HOW COTY WORKS - IN DETAIL

To make the competition fully transparent, the SAGMJ has promised to make each juror's votes public in the days following the announcement. We'll make this information available to you as soon as it's released.

These were the 2015 finalists, in alphabetical order:

Audi A3 Sedan 1.4T FSI SE S Tronic

BMW M4 Coupe AT

Citroen C4 Picasso e-HDi 115 Intensive

Honda Accord 3.5 V6 Exclusive

Lexus ES 250 EX

Mercedes-Benz C 200 AT

Nissan Qashqai 1.6 dCi Acenta AT

Porsche Macan S Diesel

Renault Duster 1.5dCi Dynamique AWD

Subaru WRX Premium

Toyota Corolla 1.4 D-4D Prestige

PREVIOUS WINNERS

1986 Toyota Corolla Twin Cam

1987 Mercedes-Benz 260E

1988 BMW 735i

1989 Toyota Corolla GLi Executive

1990 BMW 525i

1991 Opel Monza 160 GSi

1992 Nissan Maxima 300 SE

1993 BMW 316i

1994 Opel Kadett 140

1995 Opel Astra 160iS

1996 Audi A4 1.8

1997 BMW 528i

1998 Ford Fiesta Fun

1999 Alfa Romeo 156 T-Spark

2000 Renault Clio 1.4 RT

2001 BMW 320d

2002 Audi A4 1.9 TDI

2003 Volkswagen Polo TDI

2004 Renault Mégane 1.9 dCi

2005 Volvo S40 2.4i

2006 Audi A3 Sportback 2.0T

2007 Honda Civic 1.8 VXi Sedan

2008 Mazda2 1.5 Individual

2009 Honda Accord 2.4 Executive

2010 Volkswagen Golf 6 1.4 TSI

2011 BMW 530d and Volkswagen Polo 1.6 TDI

2012 Hyundai Elantra 1.8 GLS Executive

2013 Porsche Boxster

2014 Porsche Cayman S