Johannesburg - For the first time ever, an electric vehicle has won the AutoTrader South African Car of the Year award, with the Jaguar I-Pace EV400 AWD SE taking top honours in the 2020 competition.
The Jaguar I-Pace also won the 2019 World Car of the Year and European Car of the Year contests.
This is the first time that a Jaguar Land Rover product has won the SA COTY competition, which has been organised by the South African Guild of Motoring Journalists since 1986. The announcement was made at a ‘virtual awards ceremony’ that was streamed on YouTube, due to the lockdown situation.
The organisers also announced runner-up awards, with second place going to the Mercedes-Benz GLE400d 4Matic and the final podium slot taken by the Toyota GR Supra 3.0T.
However, the fact that this year’s Car of the Year is a R1.7-million car is not going to sit well with some people, but it is worth noting that the competition’s primary aim is to award excellence, and there are a number of category awards in place to make the results more relevant to a wider audience.
If we’re strictly talking relevance, then, the Urban and Leisure category winners, namely the Hyundai Atos and Volkswagen T-Cross, are the actual Car of the Year winners for the vast majority of South Africans.
Below is the full list of category winners in the 2020 AutoTrader South African Car of the Year competition:
Urban: Hyundai Atos 1.1 Motion
Family: Toyota Corolla Hatch 1.2T XR CVT
Leisure: Volkswagen T-Cross 1.0 TSI Comfortline 85kW DSG
Lifestyle Utility: Ford Ranger Raptor
Premium Car: Jaguar I-PACE EV400 AWD SE
Premium SUV: Mercedes-Benz GLE400d 4Matic
Performance Car: Toyota GR Supra 3.0T
This year's winners were selected from a group of 11 finalists that were announced last year.
The finalists were voted for by the 25 COTY jury members, which included Drive360/IOL journalists Pritesh Ruthun and Jason Woosey. The jurors put most of the finalists through their paces at Zwartkops raceway as well as nearby public roads in early March, before filling out comprehensive score sheets for each vehicle.
In order to make the competition fair, given the wide variety of entrants, the finalists are not scored in relation to the other finalists, instead they are compared to their segment rivals.
Watch the winner announcement below: