Journalists of The South African Guild of Motoring has announced the semi-finalists in the 2019 AutoTrader SA Car of the Year competition. Opel features twice!
Both the Opel Grandland X and Crossland X SUVs feature in the top 20. SUVs are dominating the list alongside other potential winners - ranging from an inexpensive hatchback to a luxury sedan.
Opel is no stranger to the podium, with the Opel Astra winning European Car of the Year in 2016 and South African Car of the Year in 2017. The Grandland X also recently scooped up the award for Best car in its Segment in the 2018 Off-Road Awards, while the Crossland X finished third in the same category . voted the best car/SUV in its segment. The soon-to-be-released in SA, the Opel Combo also just won the IVOTY (International Van of the Year) Award.
AutoTrader SA Car of the Year
For the first time in the 33-year existence of the competition, members of the public were able to cast their votes for the semi-finalists via a dedicated portal set up by AutoTrader.
Rubin van Niekerk, Chairman of the SAGMJ, says: "We are extremely proud of the public participation this year, and were not surprised when the voting, in a large part, mirrored that of our voting Guild members".
Van Niekerk added that the competition has gradually evolved over the last three decades and now includes a technological spin on public interaction. He reiterated that the sole aim of the competition is to reward automotive excellence. In addition, the finalists would be put through structured testing procedures in March 2019, before scoring each against its direct class competitors on 11 aspects ranging from engine performance to exterior design.
The 2019 Car of the Year (COTY) Jury will put the finalists through structured testing procedures on March 10 - 12, before scoring each finalist against its direct class competitors on aspects such as:
- Exterior Design
- Interior Design & Utility/Practicality
- Engine Performance
- Transmission (Performance)
- Engineering Integrity, Build Quality & Noise Levels
- Ride Handling and Brakes
- Driver Assistance & Safety Systems
- Overall Excellence
- Affordability/Value for Money (automated score)
- . Vehicle Sales (automated score)
The top 10 finalists will be revealed on the 20th of November at The Garden Venue in North Riding, Johannesburg.
OPEL is one of the oldest car brands operating in Southern Africa, and the brand has built a solid reputation over the 80+ years that OPEL has been in the country. The South African Motoring Guild voted the new OPEL ASTRA as the South African 'Car of the Year for 2017' after the new ASTRA was awarded 'Car of the Year' in 12 European countries, as well as 'Overall European Car of the Year'. OPEL won the prestigious 'Car of the Year' award in South Africa on a few previous occasions as well - in 1991 (OPEL Monza), in 1994 (OPEL Kadett) and in 1995 (OPEL Astra). OPEL cars are known for offering luxury level specifications that represent a German-engineered punch high above their price category - hence the OPEL tag line: The Future is Everyone's