The recently launched Ford Ranger has become the first bakkie to score overall victory in the South African Car of the Year competition (COTY), presented by the South African Guild of Mobility Journalists (SAGMJ). The Ford Everest took second place overall.
This is a historic moment in the history of the South African Car of the Year competition as no other bakkie has ever managed to secure an overall win and beat out all finalists since the competition began in 1986.
In addition to the overall win, the Ford Ranger also took victory in the popular double cab category. The locally built Ranger impressed the judging panel with its cutting-edge technology and safety features, powerful engines and excellent driving experience.
The Ford Everest took the honours in the Adventure SUV category, along with second place overall in the competition. The Everest impressed with the manner in which it combines exceptional off-road capability with practical seven-seater comfort, versatility and the advanced features that make it a compelling all-rounder.
This year’s COTY saw 21 finalists selected from a pool of 55 qualifying vehicles representing various hotly contested categories. The category winners emerged as follows;
Compact Family Category: BAIC Beijing X55
Midsize Category: Kia Sportage
Premium Category: Kia Sorento
Adventure SUV Category: Ford Everest
Double Cab 4×4 Category: Ford Ranger
Luxury Category: Mercedes Benz S-Class
Performance Category: Audi RS 3
New-energy Category: Volvo XC 40 P8 Recharge
The Mercedes-Benz S-Class won the COTY Jurors Excellence Award while the Chery Tiggo 8 Pro won the Motor Enthusiasts Choice, voted for by the public via a social media campaign.
Vehicle evaluations included scoring criteria such as design, technology, engineering, powertrain, handling, ingenuity and safety.
Once the jurors submitted their scores, automated scoring factors that cover sales performance, segment share and value for money were applied. COTY competition partner, Lightstone Auto provided the automated scoring information including data-driven insights, online market intelligence and new vehicle sales data.