Automotive News South Africa

2023 SA Car of the Year competition announces finalists

The 2023 South African Car of the Year (COTY) competition, sponsored by Old Mutual Insure and presented by the South African Guild of Mobility Journalists (SAGMJ) has announced its top 21 finalists.
Source: Supplied | Baic Beijing X55
Source: Supplied | Baic Beijing X55

The event showcases the pinnacle of innovation and excellence in the automotive industry.

"Congratulations to our top 21 finalists. All the vehicles have already proven to be excellent contenders and we’re looking forward with anticipation to see which deserving vehicle will take home the coveted overall winner's crown, as well as who the category winners will be," says Garth Napier, MD of Old Mutual Insure.

"The 2023 COTY finalists showcase cutting-edge innovation and fierce competition in the quest to offer the best mobility solutions. These finalists are the cream of the crop in South Africa, and we can't wait to see who comes out on top,” adds Mabuyane Mabuza, Chairperson of the 2023 COTY Committee.”

After much deliberation, the COTY committee and the SAGMJ executive committee unanimously agreed that, instead of taking the top 12 scoring vehicles, a score cut-off was applied with the objective of including a broader spectrum of finalists without favouring categories. "The team looked at a few options, but once the suggestion of a score-cut off was on the table, it just made sense. It evened the playing field," says Mabuza.

The COTY categories include Budget, Compact, Compact Family, Midsize, Premium, Adventure SUV, 4X4 Double Cab, Luxury, Performance and New Energy. The Budget category does not have contenders on this year's finalist list.

Source: Supplied | Haval H6 Hybrid
Source: Supplied | Haval H6 Hybrid

Almost 40% of the overall juror votes highlighted the strong competition in the highly contested Compact Family and Midsize categories. "The semi-finalist group was incredibly competitive, with several strong contenders narrowly missing the finalist cut. This year's finalists include a larger selection of brands, making the competition much more exciting. The COTY Committee is pleased with the vehicle selection of the final round and anticipates a tough decision for our expert jury panel," says Mabuza.

"As one of South Africa’s most established insurers that has gained a reputation for excellence in the non-life insurance landscape, Old Mutual Insure is proud to sponsor such a prestigious competition that recognises the best in automotive technology. Good luck to the jury and contenders in the final round of voting," adds Napier.

The final round of scoring will commence shortly and continue until the end of March 2023, incorporating data from Lightstone for the competition's automated scoring, based on market segment sales volumes and spec-adjusted competitor pricing.

The Motor Enthusiast's Choice (public vote) will run again this year. Keep an eye out on social media for posts featuring each finalist and be sure to cast your vote by liking your favourite. The finalist with the most likes will be the winning vehicle, and three lucky voters will win an off-road driving course sponsored by Old Mutual Insure and the SAGMJ.

"The 2023 COTY committee wishes all contenders good luck. The category winners and the overall winner of the SA Car of the Year competition will be announced on 1 June," concludes Mabuza.

Here are the top 21 finalists (in alphabetical order by category):


• Renault Clio 5

Compact Family

• BAIC Beijing X55
• Nissan Qashqai
• Opel Mokka
• VW Taigo


• Alfa Romeo Tonale
• Chery Tiggo Pro 8
• Honda Civic RS
• Hyundai Tucson
• Kia Sportage


• Jeep Grand Cherokee L
• Kia Sorento
• Adventure SUV
• Ford Everest

Double Cab

• Ford Ranger
• Isuzu D-Max


• Mercedes Benz S-Class


• Audi RS3 Sedan / Hatch

New Energy

• Audi e-tron GT/RS e-tron GT
• Haval H6 Hybrid
• Toyota RAV4 E-four
• Volvo XC40 P8 Recharge

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