Volvo XC90 Awarded 2016 WesBank / SAGMJ Car Of The Year Title

Volvo XC90 Awarded 2016 WesBank / SAGMJ Car Of The Year Title

Emperor’s Palace, Ekurhuleni: With a second win for the revered Swedish manufacturer, the Volvo XC90 took top honours at the 2016 WesBank / SAGMJ Car Of The Year announcement at a gala dinner hosted by WesBank, the competition’s headline sponsor, on Tuesday.

Facing prodigiously tough competition in this year’s 12-vehicle strong line-up – vehicles that all represent the best of the best from a cross-section of segments and price points – the Volvo XC90 made for a worthy contestant, ultimately taking South Africa’s most prestigious motoring prize.

Reflecting changing trends in the buying patterns of the South African public, the XC90 is the second Volvo (following the S40 in 2005) and the second SUV in the competition’s history to be crowned the winner. In addition, the Volvo XC90 has garnered accolades from multiple international publications, Car of the Year contests, and road safety authority awards. Locally, the XC90 has also found favour with consumers, who have voted the XC90 as the best SUV in its respective category.

Powered by new-generation 2.0-litre turbocharged Drive-E petrol and diesel engines – mated to an 8-speed Geartronic automatic gearbox, the XC90 mixes Swedish luxury and classy, minimalistic design with supreme road manners and efficient driving dynamics. It forges ahead as the first vehicle in the Volvo stable to be produced on its award-winning modular platform, and is recognised far and wide for its technological prowess. Not only did this year’s Jury select the XC90 as overall winner with 1,512 points, the Jury also awarded it the highest number of high scores available in the competition.

The South African Guild of Motoring Journalists also recognises the Ford Fusion (1,489 points) as first runner up, as well as the Mazda2 hatch (1,453 points) as second runner up in this year’s competition. Beaten by a narrow yet decisive margin, both the Ford Fusion and Mazda2 are for all intents and purposes winners in their own right and respective segments.

The South African Guild of Motoring Journalists (SAGMJ) has run the SA Car Of The Year competition since 1986, with WesBank – one of South Africa’s largest vehicle finance institutions – as its headline sponsor since inception. Hollard Insurance supplies support sponsorship.

The South African competition boasts a world-first this year, with a purpose-designed digital scoring system breaking new ground for vehicles evaluation and assessment. Yet, although the scoring mechanism may have evolved, the SAGMJ continues to adhere to COTY’s most unique feature in that each of the finalists was still put through a stringent testing procedure by the peer-elected COTY Jury at the world-renowned Gerotek Vehicle Testing Facility outside Pretoria.

Here, the winning vehicle is evaluated and scored in relation to its segment competitors, with each vehicle’s final score determined by assessing exterior aesthetics, interior design and practicality, safety and technology, handling and dynamics, performance, efficiency, value for money and overall excellence.

“The SUV market represents approximately 30% of the total South African passenger car market,” says Bernard Hellberg Jr, COTY Chairman, and Chairman of the SA Guild of Motoring Journalists. “The Volvo XC90 represents a significant portion of this market and has proven itself a worthy winner of the SAGMJ’s ultimate accolade.” he concludes.

In recent years, the competition has had many historic moments, as in 2012 when Hyundai Automotive SA won the title for the first time in its history and became the first Korean vehicle brand to win the title. In 2011, the competition caused an even bigger stir when, for the first time in history, the BMW 530d and Volkswagen Polo 1.6 TDI shared the crown.


Interesting Facts:
BMW has won the SA Car Of The Year title a record six times (1988, 1990, 1993, 1997, 2001 and 2011).
Audi, Opel, Volkswagen and Porsche – have all won the SA Car Of The Year title three times, with Honda, Renault, Toyota and Volvo taking the crown twice.
Alfa Romeo, Ford, Hyundai, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, and Nissan have won the title once each.
Opel is the only manufacturer who has won the SA Car Of The Year title for two consecutive years.
Porsche is the only manufacturer who has won the SA Car Of The Year title for three consecutive years.

Previous winners of the WesBank / SAGMJ Car Of The Year competition:
1986 Toyota Corolla Twin Cam
1987 Mercedes-Benz 260E
1988 BMW 735i
1989 Toyota Corolla GLi Executive
1990 BMW 525i
1991 Opel Monza 160 GSi
1992 Nissan Maxima 300 SE
1993 BMW 316i
1994 Opel Kadett 140
1995 Opel Astra 160iS
1996 Audi A4 1.8
1997 BMW 528i
1998 Ford Fiesta Fun
1999 Alfa Romeo 156 T-Spark
2000 Renault Clio 1.4 RT
2001 BMW 320d
2002 Audi A4 1.9 TDI
2003 Volkswagen Polo TDI
2004 Renault Mégane 1.9 dCi
2005 Volvo S40 2.4i
2006 Audi A3 Sportback 2.0T
2007 Honda Civic 1.8 VXi Sedan
2008 Mazda2 1.5 Individual
2009 Honda Accord 2.4 Executive
2010 Volkswagen Golf 6 1.4 TSI
2011 BMW 530d and Volkswagen Polo 1.6 TDI
2012 Hyundai Elantra 1.8 GLS Executive
2013 Porsche Boxster
2014 Porsche Cayman S
2015 Porsche Macan Diesel S
2016 Volvo XC90