This year the SA Guild of Motoring Journalists did things differently. Although the awards are still scored on the European scoring system, an equaliser (in the form of a formula) was introduced to place all finalists on a level playing field. This was done due to a number of manufacturers failing to comply with the COTY rules of supplying the vehicles in standard specification for evaluation. Several manufacturers supplied their vehicles with an unreasonable amounts of optional equipment which in some cases included optional extras that improved the vehicle’s handling and ride quality.
Be that as it may, the 2013 South African car of the year winners are not what I expected. A lot of readers will disagree with me, but I am of the opinion that a highly weighted deciding factor should be affordability. Affordability is of course a relative term, but looking at manufacturer sales figures should give you a good idea of the price range consumers are currently willing to entertain.
The Top 5 positions in the 2013 South African Car of the Year Awards are:
1) Porsche Boxster
2) Range Rover Evoque Si4
3) Toyota 86 High Spec
4) Kia Rio 1,4 Tec manual hatchback
5) Lexus GS 350 EX
All these vehicles, except one, are priced way beyond the means of the general public, those that find most value from these awards. As far as I am concerned, the Kia Rio takes this year’s award for being the best and most affordable vehicle that can actually be considered for purchase by more than 5% of South African drivers.
Kia, congratulations for winning the 2013 COTY Awards!!!