The 12 finalists in the 2019 Autotrader SA Car of the Year competition. Picture: SUPPLIED
The 12 finalists in the 2019 Autotrader SA Car of the Year competition. Picture: SUPPLIED

                                                                       

The 12 vehicles that will battle it out for the 2019 AutoTrader SA Car of the Year competition have been announced. The list in the competition, run by the SA Guild of Motoring Journalists (SAGMJ),  includes vehicles from Italy, Japan, Korea, Germany, France and Sweden.

George Mienie, AutoTrader CEO, believes that it is fitting to see the spread of vehicle categories contained within the list of finalists. “SA motorists have access to vehicles from all over the world and to every conceivable type. This is reflected in the list of finalists,” he notes.

The  finalists are the Nissan Micra, Suzuki Swift, Mercedes-Benz A-Class, Honda Civic Type R, Lexus ES, Suzuki Jimny, Renault Duster, Alfa Romeo Stelvio, Hyundai Kona, Mitsubishi Pajero Sport, Porsche Cayenne and Volvo XC40. It’s also interesting to note that sports utility vehicles (SUVs) dominate the list.

The next step in the SA Car of the Year journey is the actual testing of these finalists by jury members from the SAGMJ. Each vehicle will be scored against its direct class competitors on aspects such as exterior and interior design, engine and transmission performance, ride and handling, braking, safety features, overall excellence and affordability. The results will be made known in early April 2019.

There are some brands that have elected not to take part in the competition, including Volkswagen/Audi and BMW/Mini, which means potentially strong contenders like the new VW Polo and BMW X2 were not considered.