Old Mutual Insure 2024 Car of The Year Finalists Announced

The finalists of the prestigious Old Mutual Insure 2024 Car of the Year (COTY) competition have been announced.

The top 18 finalists meticulously chosen by the jurors of the 38th annual COTY competition presented by the South African Guild of Mobility Journalists (SAGMJ) will go through to the next stage in the search for the 2024 SA Car of the Year.

"Congratulations to the top 18 finalists! We eagerly await the upcoming competition phase, where the contenders will undergo comprehensive testing by COTY's expert juror group in early March," says Garth Napier, MD of Old Mutual Insure. "This rigorous and diverse evaluation will culminate in announcing the competition winners at a gala dinner in May."

Across the eight categories of the 2024 COTY competition, ranging from budget-friendly entry-level vehicles to luxurious top-end limousines, the most intense rivalry emerges in the Performance category with four formidable rivals and the Compact Family category with three outstanding competitors, all vying for coveted category honours.

In the Budget and Compact category, representing affordable entry-level vehicles, the Suzuki Fronx from the Japanese company's Indian subsidiary Maruti Suzuki competes with its French rival, the Citroen C3. Both models deliver exceptional value for money.

The competition in the Compact Family category features two Japanese contenders, the Suzuki Grand Vitara and the Toyota Urban Cruiser. This year, another Chinese competitor, the Omoda C5, competes in this category, challenging the two Japanese brands.

In the Family category, a new Chinese contender, the battery-electric vehicle (BEV) GWM Ora 03, the most affordable electric passenger car in the local market, faces off against a naturally aspirated German competitor, the BMW X1.

The Premium and Luxury categories feature recognised brands. The Mercedes-Benz GLC and Lexus NX compete for category honours in the Premium category, while the Luxury category showcases the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz EQS.

The Volkswagen Amarok is the only contender in the 4x4 Double Cab category. The Lexus LX and Mahindra Scorpio N are the sole contenders in the Adventure SUV category, offering a unique competition dynamic.

The Ford Ranger made history as the first double cab bakkie to win the title of 2023 SA Car of the Year and this year they are doing it again. The performance version of the Ford Ranger Raptor is the first double cab to qualify for the Performance category alongside the Toyota Corolla GR, BMW M2 and the Honda Civic Type R.

Budget and Compact

  • Suzuki Fronx
  • Citroen C3

Compact Family

  • Omoda C5
  • Suzuki Grand Vitara
  • Toyota Urban Cruiser

Family

  • BMW X1
  • GWM Ora 03

Premium

  • Mercedes-Benz GLC
  • Lexus NX

Luxury

  • BMW 7 Series
  • Mercedes-Benz EQS

4x4 Double Cab

  • Volkswagen Amarok

Adventure SUV

  • Lexus LX
  • Mahindra Scorpio N

Performance

  • Toyota Corolla GR
  • BMW M2
  • Honda Civic Type R
  • Ford Ranger Raptor

"Congratulations to the finalists selected from the highly competitive semi-finalist group across all eight COTY categories," says Mabuyane Mabuza, Chairperson of the 2023 and 2024 COTY Committee and Vice-Chairperson of the SAGMJ. "Rapid technological advances intensify the annual competition, with innovative features becoming commonplace, even in entry-level vehicles, showcasing the evolution of automotive technology."

In early March, the competition enters the testing phase at Zwartkops Raceway, where the juror group assesses the vehicles. Subsequently, the final scoring round incorporates data from Lightstone Auto, utilising automated scoring based on market segment sales volumes and spec-adjusted competitor pricing.

"The culmination of the COTY competition is its most thrilling phase. Using their expertise and experience, jurors meticulously evaluate every aspect of the cars. Their discernment determines the crème de la crème that caters to diverse market needs and elevates local mobility standards," adds Mabuza.

The Motor Enthusiast's Choice (public vote) returns for the 2024 COTY competition. Watch out for upcoming social media posts featuring each finalist, and vote for your favourite by liking it. The vehicle with the most likes wins, and three fortunate voters secure an off-road driving course sponsored by Old Mutual Insure and the SAGMJ. Stay tuned for the competition launch!

"Old Mutual Insure extends best wishes to all contenders. As a reputable insurer known for excellence, we take pride in our partnership with COTY, the country's premier car competition, offering an outstanding contest to the people of South Africa," concludes Napier.

The official hashtags for this year's COTY competition are #SACOTY2024 and #OMICOTY