The eight finalists in the 2010 South African Guild of Motoring Journalists (SAGMJ)/Wesbank Car of the Year competition were announced in Johannesburg on Tuesday.
The Swedes, Germans, Japanese, Americans, Koreans and Italians are all in the mix.
The finalists are the Alfa Romeo MiTo 1.4i Turbo Petrol, Audi Q5 2.0 T S tronic, Chevrolet Cruze 1.8 LS, Hyundai i20 1.6 GLS, Suzuki Alto 1.0 Litre GLS, Toyota Prius 1.8 ECVT Advanced, Volkswagen Golf VI 1.4 TSI 90 kW Comfortline, and the Volvo XC60 3.0T Geartronic.
The next step in the process to determine South Africa's 2010 Car of the Year is a two-day test session to be held in February at the Gerotek test facility, near Pretoria, where all the cars will be assessed independently by SAGMJ jury members.
The evaluation includes high speed dynamic assessment, an autokhana test to mark manoeuvrability, parking prowess and general ease of control; driving tests under various conditions on track and road, in town and on gravel, all the while taking fuel economy into account.
A static evaluation of each finalist also contributes to the car’s score in terms of aesthetics, build quality and ergonomics, while considerations based on perceptions of value for money, cost of a spares’ basket, safety features and environmental friendliness contribute to overall points.
The winner of South Africa’s Car of the Year competition – sponsored for the past 25 years by vehicle financier, WesBank, with additional support this year from Total, Hollard Insurance, Garmin and Varta – will be announced in March.