Judges for the Cars.co.za Consumer Awards announced

What are the #CarsAwards, and who gets to judge?
Cars.co.za recently announced the immediate return of the Consumer Awards, generally considered as South Africa’s definitive automobile awards series.

According to Hannes Oosthuizen, project manager for the Cars.co.za Consumer Awards programme, it is integral to the decision-making journey for new-car buyers on Cars.co.za.

The #CarsAwards are about far more than just handing out awards to automakers in February 2024. It is a six-month effort to advise prospective car purchasers about the vehicles that should be on their shortlists.

The #CarsAwards differ from other award programmes in several ways. For example, consumers can participate directly by sharing their own vehicle experiences, including the after-sales service they have received.

Car owners’ feedback accounts for 50% of a finalist vehicle’s score in the final evaluation round. While motoring and other specialist journalists test products, they can’t judge what it’s like to live with a car. Therefore, owner feedback is equally important.

Another significant distinction is that the #CarsAwards assess and honour cars introduced in the previous year.

Oosthuizen says they’ve noticed a significant shift to crossovers in the sub-R500 000 price range, but there are sub-categories even within that broad definition. However, the #CarsAwards are also about educating the consumer about what is coming up. Therefore, an EV category has been included for the first time.

Brand of the Year is the 14th and most prestigious category. The product categories are:

  • Entry-level hatch (below R250 000), e.g., Suzuki Celerio/Renault Kwid
  • Budget hatch (between R250 000 and R350 000), e.g., VW Polo Vivo, Toyota Starlet
  • Compact hatch (between R350 000 and R500 000), e.g., VW Polo, Opel Corsa, Honda Fit
  • Entry-level crossover (R250 000 to R350 000), e.g., Nissan Magnite, Toyota Urban Cruiser, Chery Tiggo4 Pro
  • Compact family car (R350 000 to R500 000), e.g., Haval Jolion, Toyota Corolla Cross, Renault Captur
  • Family car (between R600 000 and R800 000), e.g., Kia Sportage, Toyota RAV4, Haval H6
  • Premium crossover (R700 000 to R1 million), e.g., BMW X1, Mercedes GLB, Audi Q3
  • Executive SUV (R1 million to R1.3 million), e.g., BMW X3, Mercedes GLC, Volvo XC60
  • Premium SUV (R1.3 million to R1.8 million), e.g., BMW X5, Mercedes GLE, Land Rover Defender
  • Adventure SUV (R800 000 to R1.1 million), e.g., Ford Everest, Toyota Fortuner
  • Performance CAR (below R1 million), e.g., Hyundai i30N, Subaru WRX, VW Golf R, Toyota GR Corolla
  • Leisure double cab (over R800 000), e.g., Ford Ranger, Isuzu D-Max, Toyota Hilux
  • EV (under R1.3 million), e.g., Mini Cooper SE, Mercedes EQA, Volvo XC40, BMW iX1

The winners will be announced on 20 February 2024.

Introducing the judges

The judging panel strikes a mix between motoring experience and respected non-motoring, highly analytical media experts.

  • Ashley Oldfield (Cars.co.za)
  • David Taylor (Cars.co.za)
  • Gero Lilleike (Cars.co.za)
  • Ciro De Siena (Cars.co.za)
  • Jacob Moshokoa (EWN)
  • Wendy Knowler (Consumer Specialist – 702/Cape Talk/Sunday Times)
  • Muzi Sambo (Independent – Youtube)
  • MrHowMuch (Independent – Youtube/Social)
  • Brenwin Naidu (Sowetan, Sunday Times)
  • Phuti Mpyane (Business Day)
  • Rebaneilwe Semakane (Social, Voice of Wits)
  • Juliet McGuire (Independent – Cape Talk)
  • Nafisa Akabor (Tech Expert and friend of the Myth)
  • 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)

Keep an eye on #CarsAwards on social media channels for updates on the 2023/24 Cars.co.za Consumer Awards.

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