High-tech vehicles took several categories in the 2018/19 Cars.co.za Consumer Awards. Backed by WesBank, the awards were presented this week in12 categories. The highlights in the fourth iteration of the programme were:
- Toyota was named Brand of the Year. It also won this title in the inaugural 2015/16 edition of the awards. It narrowly defeated double winner Suzuki (2016/17 and 2017/18) to reclaim the main #CarsAwards trophy.
- Volkswagen garnered the most trophies (four), elevating the Wolfsburg-based marque into a comfortable lead in terms of the most category wins (10) in the history of the #CarsAwards, ahead of Mercedes-Benz (six) and Suzuki (five).
- Nissan and Honda were first-time #CarsAwards trophy recipients by virtue of their wins in the Compact Family Car and Hot Hatch categories respectively.
- The Range Rover Velar finally dethroned the Volvo XC90, which dominated the Premium SUV category during the first three instalments of the #CarsAwards.
- Volvo’s consolation was that its XC60, the reigning World Car of the Year, claimed the Executive SUV trophy to ensure that the Swedish marque remains the only brand, apart from Volkswagen, to have won a category every year since 2015/16. The XC60 features City Safety With Steering Support system and Oncoming Lane Mitigation, which partly takes over from the driver in certain situations.
- The Volkswagen Amarok 3.0 V6 TDI 4Motion Highline Plus and Toyota Fortuner 2.8 GD-6 4×4 Auto were the only finalists to defend their category victories from the 2017/18 #CarsAwards, although the Mercedes-Benz E-Class also won again, albeit with a different derivative. Suzuki won the Budget Car category for the third consecutive year, and impressively, with a different model on each occasion.
- The Mercedes-Benz A200 AMG won the Premium Compact category, no doubt thanks to its high-tech Mercedes-Benz User eXperience (MBUX) infotainment system, whic includes voice control.
- In no fewer than 5 out of the 13 categories the judges’ favourites did not win, due to the impact of an Ownership Satisfaction Survey.
Eighteen brands were represented in the list of finalists, with Volkswagen leading the nominations with 7 derivatives, followed by BMW and Ford (4 apiece), and Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo (3 apiece). Significantly, Porsche and Isuzu made their first appearances in the final stage of the #CarsAwards programme, while Honda and Range Rover returned to the list of 39 after failing to make the last round in 2017/18.
Click here to see the full list of winners.