INTRODUCING

Cars Consumer Awards

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."

Awards Ceremony Highlights

Cars.co.za CarsAwards Winners

The winners of the Cars.co.za Consumer Awards were announced at a glittering function at Shine Studios in Braamfontein on January 14 2016. The event was attended by approximately 150 guests including prominent South African motor industry executives, representatives from vehicle manufacturers and importers, dealer groups, the finance sector, media agencies, social influencers and celebrities.

The head of Cars.co.za’s video division Ciro de Siena and comedian John Vlismas presented the awards (handcrafted car-key shaped trophies made from stainless steel, titanium, aluminium and acrylic); Mike Sharman — the owner of Retroviral Digital Communications — was the guest speaker.

The event was digitally broadcast on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and, in a first for an automotive-themed awards ceremony in South Africa: the Periscope Live Stream App. The significance of the multi-platform broadcast was that it allowed consumers, who are at the core of Cars.co.za’s awards programme, to actively participate in the event. Furthermore, the #CarsAwards hashtag was one of the top trending topics in South Africa on Twitter during — and immediately after — the event.


Cars Consumer Awards Winner

Renault Sandero
Expression


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Cars Consumer Awards Finalist

Volkswagen
Take up!


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Cars Consumer Awards Finalist

Suzuki
Swift 1,2 GL


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Cars Consumer Awards Finalist

Suzuki
Celerio 1,0 GL


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Cars Consumer Awards Finalist

Toyota
Etios 1,5 Xs


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* price accurate at time of evaluation (17 June 2015)

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 nine categories we have selected. Five cars are selected through rigorous debate and analysis in each category during the first (semi-finalist) stage.

Hannes Oosthuizen
Customer Experience Manager
Cars.co.za

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David Taylor
Editor
Cars.co.za

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Ciro de Siena
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
Journalist
The Times

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Branko Brkic
Founder and Editor
The Daily Maverick

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Songezo Zibi
Editor
Business Day

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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 nine 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 nine categories. Comprehensive voting sheets have been developed that require the judges to score the semi-finalists in categories such as Interior Comfort, Performance, Efficiency, Packaging etc. 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, initial survey results will be made available to the entire judging panel for consideration. 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 (including the survey results) 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 three guest judges selected for their analytical ability and the respect they have earned for being no-nonsense fact finders. In selecting the external jury emphasis was also 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. Following a round of debate and two months of dynamic and static evaluations, the judges will then cast their final votes, using in-depth scoring sheets once again utilising the weighted criteria points system.
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