Africa-Press – Lesotho. The 2024 South African Car of the Year (COTY) semi-finalists have been revealed as the long-standing event kicks off for its 38th year, and this year’s categories have some interesting picks.
There are also a lot more affordable cars on the list, making it so much more relevant to local buyers. Hosted by the South African Guild of Mobility Journalists (SAGMJ), the 2024 COTY edition is sponsored by Old Mutual Insure for the second consecutive year.
The COTY validation committee selects the vehicles, assessing eligibility against the rules stipulating that only entirely new model ranges and not a new derivative of an existing model range qualify for entry.
The only exception is a sports derivative of an existing model range, which is eligible to compete in the Performance category. For the 2024 competition, more than 80 vehicles underwent evaluation, resulting in 30 meeting the stringent entry criteria.
SAGMJ members cast their votes, elevating 25 to semi-finalists. This meticulous process ensures adherence to competition standards, setting the stage for an exciting 2024 COTY competition.
“We are excited to reveal this year’s semi-finalists, a diverse set of competitors that are great examples of innovation and excellence in the automotive industry, which is what the competition is all about.
We anticipate a highly competitive and thrilling competition this year as the validation committee meticulously evaluated each contender,” said Old Mutual Insure managing director Garth Napier. The 25 semi-finalists boast strong representation across all categories.
“The 2024 COTY edition has a competitive line-up across all categories, setting the stage for fierce competition among overall and category winners,” said Mabuyane Mabuza, chairperson of the 2023 and 2024 COTY committee and vice-chairperson of the SAGMJ.
Starting with the Budget and Compact category, which targets accessibility for first-time buyers, the Citroen C3 is joined by the Suzuki Fronx and the Toyota Vitz.
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The Family category welcomes the first Chinese battery-electric vehicle, the GWM Ora 03, adding a groundbreaking element to the mix and highlighting the competition’s evolving landscape.
In the Premium and Luxury categories, the dominance of brands such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Lexus is evident with three, two and one entries, respectively.
The Adventure SUV category sees competition from an Indian contender, the Mahindra Scorpio N, while the 4×4 Double Cab category is represented solely by the Volkswagen Amarok this year.
In an interesting move, Ford Motor Company, the 2023 COTY overall winner with the Ford Ranger, entered its new Ranger Raptor V6 in the Performance category, set to challenge high-performance derivatives from BMW, Honda and Toyota.
This category promises huge excitement and anticipation. Budget and Compact Citroen C3 Suzuki Fronx Toyota Vitz Compact Family Omoda C5 Renault Captur
Suzuki Grand Vitara Toyota Urban Cruiser Family BMW X1 GWM Ora 03 Mazda CX-60 Nissan X-Trail Mitsubishi Outlander Premium Lexus NX Mercedes-Benz GLC Luxury
BMW 7 Series BMW XM Mercedes-Benz EQE Mercedes-Benz EQS 4×4 Double Cab Volkswagen Amarok Adventure SUV Lexus LX Mahindra Scorpio N Performance BMW M2 Ford Ranger Raptor Honda Civic Type R Toyota Corolla GR
The rising prevalence of battery-electric vehicles and hybrid-electric vehicles, coupled with the expansion of local infrastructure to support this sector’s growth, prompted the removal of the New Energy category.
These vehicles will now integrate seamlessly into other qualifying categories. “Congratulations to the 2024 COTY semi-finalists for completing the rigorous selection process.
Choosing the 25-vehicle line-up is challenging for our expert members, but it is the start of an exciting time in the COTY history every year. Best of luck in this year’s competition, and thank you for actively participating in this superb, long-standing and prestigious automotive event,” said Mabuza.
January 2024 sees the COTY jury narrowing this list to finalists, which will undergo rigorous evaluation before the jury finalises scores, revealing the official 2024 South African Car of the Year winners in May. News24 Motoring editor Janine van der Post is one of the jury members for COTY 2024.