2024 SA Car of the Year Finalists Show Mettle Over Rigorous Test Days

  • 17 contenders tested to their limits over a three-day regimen of evaluation on road and track, amid high seasonal temperatures
  • Jurors rise to the challenge of determining the best-performing cars in 2024 and overall Car of the Year
  • Testing days a resounding success, with no serious mechanical malfunctions or incidents
  • Road safety initiatives form key part of journey to 2024 Car of the Year
  • Final results to be tallied and audited, with the announcement of the overall winner and category winners set for May
  • Public encouraged to cast their vote in the Motor Enthusiast competition

Johannesburg – The South African Car of the Year (COTY) competition sponsored by Old Mutual Insure concluded its evaluations for the 2024 annual competition.

The comprehensive regimen testing vehicles’ performance across key disciplines took place in high seasonal temperatures and included acceleration, handling, braking, wet-surface stability, fuel economy and, where applicable, off-road capabilities.

On the first day of the three-day event, the 27 jurors participated in a training session at the OMI COTY Training Academy to hone their assessment skills. This was followed by two days of on-track and off-track testing.

Throughout the test days, diverse evaluations assessed the vehicles’ design, engineering, technology, powertrain, practicality, safety, ride, handling, and overall standard of excellence in relation to segment peers.

Value for money, a crucial criterion in the competition, will come under additional scrutiny in a follow-up study conducted by Lightstone Automotive.

As COTY’s automotive information partner, Lightstone Automotive supplies data like average monthly sales volumes per product and market segment and specification-adjusted competitor pricing to complete the scoring process. The jury’s results are formally audited.

“Over our two-year partnership with the South African Guild of Mobility Journalists (SAGMJ), competition has intensified each year, as more high-tech cars enter the fold, adding complexity to the jurors’ task,” said Garth Napier, MD of Old Mutual Insure.

“We cherish the test days when seasoned journalists converge to offer their expert insights on the finalists vying for top honours in their categories and selecting the overall competition winner,” said Mabuyane Mabuza, Chairperson of the 2023 and 2024 COTY Committee and Vice-Chairperson of the SAGMJ.

The field of contenders is diverse, ranging across eight categories. From affordable compacts to sensible family offerings, ultra-luxurious saloons and snarling performance vehicles, the line-up is representative of the breadth of the new car market in South Africa. But there can only be one 2024 Car of the Year.

To bolster road safety initiatives, OMI engaged industry experts like Philip Hull and Eugene Herbert to raise awareness and promote safer practices on South African roads. Numerous interviews were conducted and published to enhance the public’s understanding of road safety.

Vehicle scoring is not limited to jurors. In 2023, OMI initiated the COTY Motor Enthusiast public competition as part of its road safety program. Motor enthusiasts across the nation are given the chance to win a variety of defensive driving and other courses developed by MasterDrive, a top driver training organisation.

“As a sponsor of COTY, we are seeing motoring innovation result in safer vehicles and roads. The Motor Enthusiast competition aligns with our mission and COTY’s goal to promote responsible driving habits, aligning with our broader safety initiatives,” said Napier.

“Although the vehicle evaluation days are long and intense, our jury worked tirelessly to determine this year’s finalists,” Mabuza concluded. “Test days enabled our jurors to conduct sufficiently in-depth assessments to identify the finalists and come to the difficult decision of identifying the COTY 2024 winner.”

This year’s COTY winners will be announced on the 8th of May.

To vote in the COTY’ Motor Enthusiast’ public competition, visit www.ominsurecoty.co.za/voting/