Mercedes A-Class is SA's 2019 Car of the Year
Compact Benz wins ahead of Porsche Cayenne and Volvo XC40
The Mercedes-Benz A-Class is South Africa’s 2019 Car of the Year, as voted for by the Guild of Motoring Journalists (SAGMJ).
It is only the second Mercedes victory in the 34 year history of the competition, after the Mercedes 260 won it in 1987.
The winner was announced at a Johannesburg gala event on Thursday night after being selected from 11 other finalists in the AutoTrader-sponsored competition.
The Porsche Cayenne was in second place with the Volvo XC 40 third.
The other finalits were the Nissan Micra, Suzuki Swift, Honda Civic Type R, Lexus ES, Suzuki Jimny, Renault Duster, Alfa Romeo Stelvio, Hyundai Kona, and Mitsubishi Pajero Sport.
Jury members of the SAGMJ last month tested all 12 finalists with each vehicle 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.
For the first time in the 34-year history of the annual contest, categories were introduced and the five winners are:
Suzuki Swift - urban compact, Suzuki Jimny - lifestyle utility, Mercedes-Benz A-Class - family sedan/hatch, Lexus ES 250 - premium sedan, and Porsche Cayenne - leisure crossover.
There were brands that elected not to take part in this year’s competition, including Volkswagen/Audi and BMW/Mini, which meant contenders like the new VW Polo and BMW X2 were not considered.
Last year’s SA Car of the Year was the Porsche Panamera. It was the fourth Porsche to win the contest in recent years (the Boxster won in 2013, the Cayman S in 2014, and the Macan in 2015) which saw the competition attracting public criticism.