Drive: Women opt for the wow factor

2010-09-10 10:57

The votes have been tallied and the top chick rides have been announced for the 2010 WOW (Women on Wheels) Women’s Car of the Year awards.

While there are still some men who think that they know more about cars than any woman, our opinions do matter as female motoring ­journalists.

As one of the judges, I found that voting for cars most suitable for women can be a rather daunting task when you’re a fan of sports cars with lots of power, big sports utility vehicles or the odd bakkie.

I had to put on my “think pink” cap while I chose my top three choices for the seven categories, as well as an overall best value for money car.

All women are different: some are mothers, businesswomen, shoppers, party girls, tomboys, teachers. So choosing a car that represents each of the above almost made me chew my nails to the quick, but at the end of it all we’re women no matter how different we are. I followed the criteria and chose not only cars that made the best sense, but also cars that made lifestyle and budget sense for women.

The judging process was done individually on ­paper. We had to choose our top three and score them in order. It wasn’t a beauty pageant where the finalists were all lined up.

Along with my fellow judges, the public also had to cast their vote and more than 3 500 female motorists made their choice in all the categories. And now for the winners... drum roll, please.

Best Convertible:
Volvo C70
I was slightly disappointed to hear that the Volvo had beaten all three of my top choices. I had hoped the Fiat 500C would win the heart of any woman. The Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet and the Audi S5 Cabriolet didn’t impress anyone either.

Best Estate:
Audi A4 Avant
I also chose the Avant. For a family wagon, it has all the right stuff. It’s good looking and the tailgate is easy to operate when loading things.

Best Green car:
Honda CR-Z
If our very own Joule was already available, it would have scored points. Where it wouldn’t have scored any would be in the “looks” department. The CR-Z is a worthy winner in this new category. It’s a gem, looks awesome and only emits 117g/km carbon which means you don’t pay any tax.

Best Hatchback:
Citroën C3
My choice: I had a tough time deciding between the Fiat Panda and the Hyundai i30. They’re both compact, yet spacious; easy to drive and park. They also have sufficient boot space for anything women need space for.

Best Sedan:
Honda Civic
My choice: I chose Kia Cerato as a typical family car. Launched late last year, the Cerato’s looks have since ­become a winning formula for both the Korean brands – Kia and Hyundai.

Best Sports car:
Citroën DS3
My choice: Sports cars usually mean oodles of power, a low suspension and ultra-cool looks. None of that comes to mind when picturing the DS3. The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG is like sex-on-wheels no matter which Formula 1 team you’re batting for.

Though the DS3 is a super-cute hottie, it just doesn’t compare to the SLS. But then again, it’s not as practical, affordable and easy to drive as the DS3.

Best SUV/MPV and overall winner:
Hyundai iX35
It won unanimously because of its versatility, looks and driving pleasure.

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