Introducing

OUR GOAL

"To establish the most prestigious, credible and influential Awards programme in the South African motoring industry, these awards are presented to the vehicles judged to represent the best buys in their respective categories in South Africa. Although overall product excellence is important, these awards are also influenced by real, credible consumer input, with the ultimate goal of influencing purchasing decisions."


Cars Consumer Awards Finalist

Renault Sandero
Expression


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Cars Consumer Awards Finalist

Suzuki
Celerio 1.0 GL


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Cars Consumer Awards Finalist

Toyota
Aygo 1.0 X-Play


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Cars Consumer Awards Finalist

Mitsubishi
Mirage GLX


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Cars Consumer Awards Finalist

Chevrolet
Spark 1.2 LS


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* price accurate at time of evaluation (1 September 2016)

Experienced Test Team

Our panel of testers research and debate each of the cars on sale in South Africa and determine their eligibility and all-round ability against the predetermined “pillars of success” in each of the 13 categories we have selected. Five cars are selected through rigorous debate and analysis in each category during the first (semi-finalist) stage.

Hannes Oosthuizen
Consumer Experience Manager
Cars.co.za

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David Taylor
Journalist
Cars.co.za

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Ciro de Siena
Journalist
Cars.co.za

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Francisco Nwamba
Contributor
Cars.co.za

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Mike Fourie
Content Manager
Cars.co.za

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Gero Lilleike
Journalist
Cars.co.za

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Ashley Oldfield
Journalist
Cars.co.za

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External Jury

When selecting our highly respected external jury, emphasis was placed on selecting candidates that are not necessarily active in the automotive space. This was done to ensure that alternative viewpoints to our "petrolheaded" test team's opinions are also incorporated.

Wendy Knowler
Consumer Journalist
The Times

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Eddie Kalili
Group Motoring Editor
Destiny, Destiny Man and Sawubona

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Khutso Theledi
Journalist/presenter/DJ

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Kojo Baffoe
Journalist/writer/media strategist

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Nafisa Akabor
Tech Journalist

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Juliet McGuire
Editor
Women on Wheels

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About us

Brief Introduction

The annual CARS.CO.ZA CONSUMER AWARDS recognise the best cars available in the South African market using a unique, multi-faceted judging process. There is much more to this awards programme than handing out trophies to the manufacturers and importers – the goal ultimately is to identify the best buys within their respective categories, and thereby assisting the consumer in making informed choices. Whether you end up buying one of the winners, or one of the semi-finalists, rest assured you are buying a very good car. But how does it work? With around 2 000 models available in the South African market, the process of finding the right car can be a daunting one. With the CARS.CO.ZA CONSUMER AWARDS process we essentially do all the homework for you.

Experienced Test Team

Our panel of testers research and debate each of the cars on sale in South Africa and determine their eligibility and all-round ability against the predetermined “pillars of success” in each of the 13 categories we have selected. Five cars are selected through rigorous debate and analysis in each category during the first (semi-finalist) stage.
Weighted by segment importance
The next phase requires further and even deeper analysis of the five contenders in their respective 13 categories. Comprehensive voting sheets have been developed that require the judges to score the semi-finalists against the "pillars of success" in that category. Depending on the segment of the market being judged, the weightings of these categories change to reflect consumer preferences. For example, in the Family Car category extra weighting would be placed on luggage space and long-distance comfort, whereas these would score comparatively little in the Fun Car category. Once the scores in this phase have been tallied, the top three finalists in each of the nine categories will be announced.
Real Consumer Input

Once the finalists in each of the categories have been determined, the CARS.CO.ZA CONSUMER AWARDS programme adds a two further layers of credibility. Firstly, running concurrently with the awards programme is CARS.CO.ZA’s new Owner Satisfaction Survey developed in association with leading automotive data specialists, Lightstone Consumer.

In this survey South African car owners will rate their own vehicles for reliability, after-sales service, cost of ownership and general satisfaction. At the final voting stage, a Brand score (incorporating after-sales service, residuals etc.) will be added to the judges scores to determine the winning products. In this manner we ensure the consumer will have a very real impact on the results of the Awards, but in a meaningful way, rather than asking the public to vote on cars they have no experience with, as is the case in other Awards programmes. After all, we’re asking for feedback on the cars the public knows best – the ones they own.
Respected External Jury

At the final voting stage, all the relevant information are presented to the judging panel which at that is stage is made up not only out of CARS.CO.ZA’s test panel, but also seven guest judges. In selecting the external jury emphasis was placed on selecting candidates that are not necessarily active in the automotive space, but who have an interest in motoring and who are successful in their respective fields of specialization. This was done to ensure that alternative viewpoints to our “petrolheaded” test team’s opinions are also incorporated. Following a two-day back-to-back evaluation in Johannesburg (of the top three vehicles in each category), the judges will then complete in-depth scoring sheets once again utilising the weighted criteria points system.
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