announces the 65 semi-finalists across the 13 categories of its Consumer Awards

The return of South Africa’s most definitive motoring awards programme – the Consumer Awards – was recently announced. The first phase, in which five semi-finalists were selected in each of 13 vehicle categories, is now complete. Herewith the 65 semi-finalists of the 2023/24 Consumer Awards.

The Consumer Awards (abbreviated to CarsAwards – or #CarsAwards in social media posts), which recognises the best purchasing propositions in 13 categories of the South African new-vehicle market, is now in its seventh year.

The 13 eventual category winners will be selected from the list of 65 vehicles, which includes model derivatives from no fewer than 25 brands represented in the South African market. All vehicles available on the South African market on September 1, 2023, were eligible, not only new products that were launched during the past 12 months. Some models that had not been launched by that date were considered, provided that they had already been priced, could be ordered by consumers and extended editorial team had sufficient experience with the vehicles.

The first phase of CarsAwards saw the extended editorial team select the five best vehicles in each of the 13 categories devised for this year’s programme. Careful attention was paid to the respective categories' "Filters of Eligibility" and the "Pillars of Success" in order to come to a consensus on the list of semi-finalists.

“Another unique aspect of the CarsAwards is that the categories are re-evaluated every year,” says’s Hannes Oosthuizen. “With so much activity in the lower-priced crossover segments, we decided to sacrifice some of the higher-priced categories in favour of those segments where consumers are actually currently buying.”

“But CarsAwards must also educate and, as such, we’ve introduced an EV category focused on the most affordable electric vehicles in the market,” he adds.

Even though as many as 25 brands’ vehicles feature in the list of 65, 9 brands have at least 3 semi-finalists in the running for category honours. The brands with the most nominations are: Toyota (8), BMW (6) and Suzuki (5). Chery, Omoda (A Chery sub-brand) and Ora (GWM’s new EV brand) appear on the list for the first time.

Full list of 2023/24 CarsAwards semi-finalists

Entry-Level Hatch (Priced below R250 000)

  • Citroen C3 1.2 Feel
  • Renault Kiger 1.0 Zen
  • Suzuki Celerio 1.0 GL
  • Suzuki Swift 1.2 GLX
  • Toyota Vitz 1.0 XR

Budget Hatch (R250 000 to R350 000)

  • Hyundai Grand i10 1.2 Fluid
  • Renault Clio 1.0 Turbo Zen
  • Suzuki Baleno 1.5 GLX
  • Toyota Starlet 1.5 XR
  • Volkswagen Polo Vivo 1.6 Highline

Compact Hatch (R350 000 to R500 000)

  • Audi A1 Sportback 30TFSI S Line
  • Honda Fit 1.5 Elegance
  • Opel Corsa 1.2T Elegance
  • Peugeot 208 1.2T
  • Volkswagen Polo 1.0 TSI 85kW R-Line

Entry-Level Crossover (R300 000 to R400 000)

  • Chery Tiggo 4 Pro 1.5 Elite Auto
  • Haval Jolion 1.5T Premium
  • Suzuki Fronx 1.5 GLX Auto
  • Suzuki Grand Vitara 1.5 GLX manual
  • Toyota Urban Cruiser 1.5 XR automatic

Compact Family Car (R400 000 to R500 000)

  • Haval Jolion S Super Luxury
  • Omoda C5 1.5T 230T Lux S
  • Peugeot 2008 1.2T Allure
  • Renault Duster 1.5dCi Intens
  • Toyota Corolla Cross 1.8 XR

Family Car (R600 000 to R800 000)

  • Chery Tiggo 8 Pro Max 2.0TGDi 390 Executive
  • Haval H6 1.5T HEV Ultra Luxury
  • Hyundai Tucson 2.0D Elite
  • Kia Sportage 1.6CRDi EX
  • Mitsubishi Outlander 2.5 Aspire

Premium Crossover (R700 000 to R1 million)

  • Audi Q3 Sportback 40TFSI quattro S Line
  • BMW X1 sDrive18d M Sport
  • Lexus UX 250h SE
  • Mercedes-Benz GLA200d AMG Line
  • Volvo XC40 B4 Ultimate Dark

Executive SUV (R1 million to R1.3 million)

  • BMW X3 xDrive20d M Sport
  • Hyundai Palisade Elite 7 Seater
  • Lexus NX 350h F Sport
  • Mercedes-Benz GLC220d 4Matic Avantgarde
  • Volvo XC60 B5 Ultimate Dark

Premium SUV (R1.3m to R1.8 million)

  • BMW iX xDrive40
  • BMW X5 xDrive30d M Sport
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee L 3.6 4x4 Overland
  • Land Rover Defender 110 D250 SE County
  • Mercedes-Benz GLE300d AMG Line

Adventure SUV (R800 000 to R1.2 million)

  • Ford Everest 3.0 V6 Wildtrak
  • Isuzu MU-X 3.0TD Onyx 4x4
  • Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 3.6 Rubicon
  • Mitsubishi Pajero Sport 2.4DiD 4x4 Exceed
  • Toyota Fortuner 2.8GD-6 4x4 VX

Performance Car (Below R1 million)

  • Honda Civic Type R
  • Subaru WRX manual
  • Toyota GR Corolla Circuit
  • Toyota GR Yaris Rally
  • Volkswagen Golf R

Leisure Double Cab (Above R800 000)

  • Ford Ranger 3.0 V6 EcoBoost Raptor 4WD
  • Ford Ranger 3.0 V6 Wildtrak 4WD
  • Isuzu D-Max 3.0TD V-Cross 4x4x Auto
  • Toyota Hilux 2.0GD-6 4x4 Legend RS Auto
  • Volkswagen Amarok 3.0TDI V6 Aventura 4Motion

EV (Below R1.3 million)

  • BMW i4 eDrive35 M Sport
  • BMW iX1 xDrive30 M Sport
  • Mercedes-Benz EQA250 AMG Line
  • Ora 03 Super Lux
  • Volvo XC40 Twin Motor Ultimate

In the next round (due to take place in early October 2023), the extended editorial team will score the semi-finalists individually, taking into account various criteria set out for each of the respective categories. Following that, the top three finalists per category will be announced and subjected to back-to-back testing at the Gerotek proving ground in Gauteng by the combined judging panel on 2 and 3 November 2023.

Combined judging panel for the 2023/24 CarsAwards:

In building the judging panel, the goal was to achieve a balance of motoring expertise (particularly in the first two phases of the programme, which determine the finalists) and respected non-motoring, highly analytical media professionals.

“It is absolutely crucial that motoring journalists’ opinions are supplemented by those of non-motoring media professionals, who, in many ways, represent the consumer at the test days,” explains Oosthuizen.

“As these Awards are designed to be of maximum benefit to the consumer, it is critical that as many South Africans as possible know about the results,” says Oosthuizen. “Our panel of judges has been selected with that in mind, and therefore comprises a mix of new and traditional media, print, broadcast and social media specialists,” he explains.

The judges for the 2023/2024 Consumer Awards are:

  • Ashley Oldfield (
  • David Taylor (
  • Gero Lilleike (
  • Ciro De Siena (
  • Jacob Moshokoa (EWN)
  • Wendy Knowler (Consumer Specialist – 702/Cape Talk/Sunday Times)
  • Brenwin Naidu (Sowetan, Sunday Times)
  • Muzi Sambo (Independent – Youtube)
  • MrHowMuch (Independent – Youtube/Social)
  • Rebaneilwe Semakane (Social, Voice of Wits)
  • Juliet McGuire (Independent – Cape Talk)
  • Nafisa Akabor (Tech Expert)
  • Phuti Mpyane (Business Day)
  • Lerato Matebese (Top Gear)
  • Kumbi Mtshakazi (Kumbi-M on Cars)
  • Mpho Mahlangu (Independent – Social)
  • Tshidi Malebana (Independent – Social)
  • Sibonelo Myeni (uKhozi FM, iMoto)
  • Brendon Staniforth (Maroela Media)
  • Clement Manyathela (702)

The 20 judges’ scores for each of the 39 finalists will only count for 50% of the final standings, however. The other 50% will be based on rankings that the respective vehicle brands represented by the finalists achieved in the Ownership Satisfaction Survey. The data incorporates feedback from thousands of vehicle owners, based on their experiences of their vehicles (less than four years old and serviced through franchised outlets).

“The Consumer Awards programme is designed to be a guide for all new passenger vehicle buyers, not only those who follow motoring publications," Oosthuizen concludes. “With 50% of the final scores determined by brands’ rating in the survey, a vehicle only really stands a very good chance of winning if it is a good product in the eyes of the judges and if its brand delivers solid after-sales service.