Corolla Cross the new SA COTY

The Toyota Corolla Cross was voted the South African Car of the Year by the South African Guild of Mobility Journalists (SAGMJ).

SAGMJ1 Toyota Corolla Cross

This year's COTY competition was particularly exciting, with the 2022 COTY jurors selecting 25 semi-finalists from more than 49 entrants with some hotly contended category rivalries.

Mercedes Benz C-Class won this year's prestigious Juror's Excellence Award. Introduced in 2021, the Award is particularly impressive as it only considers the raw scoring of the jurors without automated scoring factors. The overall winner includes additional scoring criteria like sales, segment share and spec-adjusted pricing.

  • The Category winners for this year's competition are:

Compact Category: Toyota Urban Cruiser

Compact Family Category: Toyota Corolla Cross

Midsize Category: Mercedes Benz C-Class

Performance Category: Volkswagen Golf GTI

New-energy Category: Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid

Adventure SUV Category: Toyota Landcruiser 300

Double Cab 4x4 Category: Nissan Navara

The Budget and Premium categories did not have any 2022 contenders.

The public has become more involved in the COTY scoring/voting process over the last four years via social media. Two years ago, the Motor Enthusiasts Choice Category was introduced. A social media blitz lasting six weeks saw the vehicle the public responded to the most in a hotly contended all-out popularity contest. It was not an easy battle as PRs seized the opportunity to showcase their Finalist/s, but the Peugeot 208 beat out stiff competition to take the win.

"One thing has remained true to this remarkable contest: it celebrates and rewards automotive excellence. Our jurors are experts in their field and clearly understand vehicles and the mobility sector," says Graham Eagle, chairman of the 2022 COTY committee.

The COTY scoring process is much more than just juror scoring. Once the expert panel concluded scoring, the automated scoring factors that cover sales performance, segment share and value for money are applied. The Guild's COTY competition partner, Lightstone Auto, provided the automated scoring information, which provides data-driven insights, online market intelligence and new vehicle sales data about the South African automotive industry.

Additional honours instituted at the SAGMJ's Annual General Meeting in 2021 were the Most Admired OEM and the best PR in the industry. This year's respective winners are Mercedes Benz SA and Deon Sonnekus from Hyundai SA, and although these two awards are not officially part of the COTY competition, they are just as prestigious, according to Carl Wepener, Chairman of the SAGMJ.

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