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Here they are: 31 vehicles line up for SA Car of Year

  • More suggestions, longer list of entries
  • 31 vehicles on 2019 contest line-up
  • First Chinese vehicle takes on world

JOHANNESBURG, Gauteng – The 2019 South African Car of the Year competition is under way. and the organiser, the South African Guild of Motoring Journalists, has revealed the list of qualifying vehicles.

Included in the 31 vehicles on the list is the Haval H9, considered a strong contender. The company entered the South African market in May 2017 and has since grown its dealer network to 31. The H9 is the fifth upmarket SUV in the Haval range to be launched in less than 18 months.

Should the Haval win, it will be the first victory by a Chinese vehicle.

VOLVO ‘NO STRANGER’

There are strong contenders. The 2018 World Car of the Year title-holder, the Volvo XC60, is just one. The brand’s XC60 also won the 2018 North American Utility of the Year award.

Volvo SA is, of course, no stranger to the SA Coty: the XC90 won in 2016 and the S40 in 2005.

The Range Rover Velar, second in the World Car of the Year, is another possible front-runner. The XC60 scored 776 points, the Velar 742, showing how closely the two vehicles fared.

George MienieCEO of competition sponsor AutoTrader, believes the 2018 contest will be one of the closest yet.

‘JURY HAS A TOUGH JOB!’

“The list of qualifying cars represents automotive excellence, which is what the competition is all about. The jury will have an extremely tough job on its hands!”

So, here is the long, full, list of qualifying vehicles:

Alfa Romeo: Stelvio
Aston Martin: Vantage
Haval: H9
Honda: Amaze; Civic Type R
Hyundai: i20; Grand i10; Kona
Jaguar: E-Pace
Land Rover: Range Rover Velar
Lexus: LS; RX-L; ES
Maserati: Levante S
Mercedes-Benz: A-Class; X-Class
Mitsubishi: Pajero Sport
Nissan: Micra
Opel; Crossland X; Grandland X
Porsche: Cayenne
Renault: Duster; Kwid; Megane R.S.
Suzuki: Dzire; Jimny; Swift
Toyota: Aygo; Yaris
Volvo: XC40; XC60

Next will come the buyers’vote which will open on October 26 on AutoTraderCOTY.co.za. and probably also other major motor industry websites and blogs.

It will be the first time a consumer vote has been included in the process.

TESTING TIMES NEXT MARCH

Rubin van Niekerk, guild chairman, told The Corner: “Buyers ultimately vote with their wallets; their involvement and choice is an important addition to the competition.”

Semi-finalists and finalists will be announced in November with jurors conducting back-to-back testing of the vehicles in March 2019. The results are expected to be announced (usually with a lavish dinner function) soon afterwards.

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