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CAR Magazine announces this year's Top 12 Best Buys

CAR Magazine has announced its annual Top 12 Best Buys for 2015, which have been voted for by the magazine's editors. There were 12 categories of the South African new vehicle market and more than 1000 individual models to choose from.
Design of the Year (Concept Car): Volkswagen XL Sport
Once again, technology took centre stage as nominees across all categories were recognised for their innovation. CAR Magazine's editor, Steve Smith, confirmed: "Vehicles that offer better combinations of performance, efficiency, safety and convenience technology than rivals of similar prices score highly in terms of value for money and, as a result, tend to achieve higher overall road test scores and win categories of the Car Top 12 Best Buys."

Jaguar Land Rover was the outstanding performer, scooping the Car Manufacturer of the Year Award, while Ford (Ranger and Kuga) and Volkswagen (Polo, Polo Vivo) picked up two awards each.

The rest of the spoils were shared amongst industry stalwarts, Audi (A3 Sportback), BMW (3 Series), Toyota (Corolla Quest), Ferrari (458 Spider), Range Rover (Sport) and Mercedes-Benz (S-Class).

High standards of technological advancements

Tracker's involvement in the awards, as sponsor, underlines the continued emphasis on safety in overall car performance ratings. Wayne de Nobrega, Tracker's CEO, addressing a room filled with leading vehicle manufacturers, praised the high standards of technological advancements in the automobile industry.

"Seeing vehicle safety constantly shift closer to the centre of the automotive ecosystem and driver decision making shows that, as an industry, we have a big role to play in the lives of car owners. Ensuring that their families stay connected and enjoy the journey at the same time," said De Nobrega.

In finalising the candidates for category wins, the CAR Magazine journalist team factored in the road tests and driving impressions that were published in Car during the previous year - meaning only vehicles they had actually driven themselves were considered.

In most categories, a vehicle's entire range and not a particular model was considered.

Safety is intrinsic

The selection criteria includes package, personality, performance and price; however, Steve Smith said: "You can add safety to the list. Safety is intrinsic to the process and underpins every selection we make. A model would not make it onto a shortlist if the satisfactory level of safety technology was not in place."

CAR's Top 12 Best Buys for 2015 are:

  • Budget Car: Chevrolet Sport Campus;
  • Light Hatchback: Volkswagen Polo;
  • Light Sedan: Volkswagen Polo Vivo;
  • Compact Hatchback: Audi A3/A3 Sportback;
  • Compact Sedan: Toyota Corolla Quest;
  • Compact Executive Sedan: BMW 3 Series;
  • Luxury Car: Mercedes-Benz S-Class;
  • Performance Car: Ferrari 458 Spider;
  • Light SUV/Crossover: Nissan Juke;
  • Compact SUV/Crossover: Ford Kuga;
  • Large SUV/Crossover: Range Rover Sport; and
  • Double Cab Bakkie: Ford Ranger.

Additional categories:

  • Company of the Year: Jaguar Land Rover;
  • Design of the Year (Production Car): Mercedes-AMG GT;
  • Design of the Year (Concept Car): Volkswagen XL Sport;
  • Redesign of the Year: Toyota Yaris;
  • Green Award: Volvo;
  • Engine of the Year: BMW i8;
  • Safety Award: Drive-ID;
  • Most underrated product: Mazda CX-5;
  • Motorsport Award: Sheldon van der Linde; and
  • Company to watch: Opel.