OPINION | This year's SA Car of the Year winner represents real motoring value

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The new Peugeot 2008 in front of the Engineering Building of Stellenbosch University
The new Peugeot 2008 in front of the Engineering Building of Stellenbosch University
Wallace Du Plessis

 • The Peugeot 2008 SUV is the 2021 SA Car of the Year.
 • There are two new categories in the competition: New Energy Category and Motor Enthusiast's Choice.
 • Toyota's Hilux is second, while the BMW 4 Series took third place. 
 • For motoring news, go to News24/wheels.



What a few years it has been. Nothing normal at all. Not our lives, not the automotive market. Slowly it's all starting to come together again, and so too with motoring awards.

The overall winner of this year's Car of The Year (Coty) awards is very deserving and represents motoring excellence, innovation, brilliant packaging and inspirational design. And it represents real motoring value.

I personally concur with our winners this year. I was a little critical in the past, mainly because it's silly putting a two million Rand car up against one of R300k and judging them at the same level. This year the system is much better. 

taycan, porsche taycan 4s turismo, porsche taycan
Porsche Taycan 4S Cross Turismo

The Porche Taycan is the deserving winner of the New Energy category just because it is such a good car. I say this even as I think battery cars are not the solution for our market.

Here are the winners 2021 South African Car of the Year category winners are:
Budget Category: Toyota Starlet
Compact Category: Hyundai Venue
Compact Family Category: Peugeot 2008 SUV
Family Category: Audi A4
Premium Category: BMW 4 Series
Adventure Category: Toyota Land Cruiser Prado
Double Cab Category: Toyota Hilux Double Cab
Performance Category: Porsche 911 Turbo S
New Energy Category: Porsche Taycan
Motor Enthusiast's Choice: Mercedes-Benz E-Class
Jurors Excellence Award: Peugeot 2008 SUV


The first-place overall winner of the 2021 South African Car of the Year competition is the Peugeot 2008.

The Toyota Hilux Double Cab was placed second, while the BMW 4 Series came third.

Given the lockdown, the 2021 South African Car of the Year winner was announced during a virtual awards ceremony that was streamed live on 27 September 2021.

How the scoring works

There was a concerted effort by the SAGMJ to meet with OEMs and ensure that they were cognisant of their input on various matters relating to COTY.

The COTY Committee also paid close attention to worldwide competition trends and took advice from experts in the field. The result is that COTY created more categories and will also provide for the new mobility enhanced vehicles we will see more of in the future. 

There are two new categories, the Motor Enthusiast's Choice and Jurors Excellence Award.

bmw 4 series
2021 BMW M440i xDrive Coupé M Performance

The public has become more involved in the COTY scoring/voting process in the last two years. This voting counted towards the juror scores and effectively held the weight of a single juror. Having discovered that this made a minimal impact, the SAGMJ wanted to encourage the public to be more involved and, as such, felt that the public rightly deserved their own award - the Motor Enthusiast's Choice Award.

The COTY scoring process is so much more than just juror scoring. Once the expert panel concluded scoring, the automated scoring factors that cover sales performance, segment share and value for money are applied.

The automated scoring information was provided by Lightstone Auto, which provides data-driven insight, online market intelligence, and new vehicle sales data to the South African automotive industry. 

The Jurors Excellence Award uses raw scoring to reveal which vehicle received the highest scores before automated factors were included.

Well done, Peugeot, and all the other winners.

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