Volkswagen SA made a clean sweep at the Cars.co.za Consumer Awards on Thursday night. Not only did the German brand win six out of the 13 awards up for grabs, it also walked away with arguably the most prized gong of the night – Brand of the Year – the only award decided by the public.
A panel of judges, made up of motoring journalists, tech journalists and influencers, decides on all other awards. They decide which cars are the best across categories, including family cars, compact family cars, business class, leisure double-cabs and the performance car of the year.
The three finalists in the different categories are put through several challenges and scored accordingly.
The first award of the night saw the top selling VW Polo1.0TSI Comfortline retaining its title as the best Compact Hatch, beating the Mazda2 1.5 Individual Plus Auto and the Ford Fiesta 1.0 Trend Auto.
The more powerful Polo GTI won in the Most Fun Hatch category beating the Suzuki Swift Sport and the Mini Cooper S.
The VW Arteon 2.0 TSI 4Motion R-Line also retained its spot as best Business Class car beating the BMW 320d Sport Line and the Mercedes-Benz C300 AMG Line.
The Range Rover Velar D300 R-Dynamic SE failed to retain its spot as the best Premium SUV as the BMW X5, xDrive30d M-Sport beat the Audi Q8 55 TFSI Quattro to take the reigns.
The X3 xDrive20d M-Sport beat another Range Rover brand, the Evoque D180 R-Dynamic SE, to take over from the reigning champion in the Executive SUV category – the Volvo XC60 D5 R-Design.
BMW is proud of its in-line six-cylinder engines but if it stops putting them in other manufacturers’ cars it might win more awards. The Toyota Supra used BMW’s award-winning B58 engine to beat the BMW M2 Competition and the Ford Mustang GT 5.0 to win the best Performance Car title.
VW’s other win on the night was from a golden oldie. The VW Amarok, which is 10 years old, came out tops beating top-sellers the Ford Ranger 2.0 BiTDi Wildtrak 4x4 Auto and the Toyota Hilux 2.8 GD-6 Legend 50 4x4 Auto in its V6 TDI Highline 4Motion guise to be crowned best Leisure Double-Cab.
Other winners on the night were:
- Audi Q3 35 TFSI S Line beat the Jaguar E-Pace D180 AWD R-Dynamic and the Volvo XC40 D4 R-Design
- Toyota Fortuner 2.8GD-6 4x4 Auto beat the Ford Everest 2.0 Bi-Turbo 4WD Limited and the Haval H9 Luxury
Compact Family Car
- Volkswagen T-Cross 1.0 TSI 85kW Highline R-Line beat the Renault Duster 1.5 dCi Prestige and the Suzuki Vitara 1.4T GLX Auto
- Mazda CX-5 2.0 Dynamic Auto beat the Peugeot 3008 2.0 HDI Allure and the Toyota RAV4 2.0 GX Auto
- Volkswagen Golf GTI beat the Mazda3 2.0 Astina and Mercedes-Benz A200 AMG-Line