Volvo XC90 COTY 2016

It comes as no surprise that the Volvo XC90 triumphed at the 2016 WesBank / SAGMJ Car of the Year (COTY) competition.

Facing prodigiously tough competition in this year’s 12-vehicle strong line-up – the Volvo XC90 made for a worthy contestant, ultimately taking South Africa’s most prestigious motoring prize. Not only did this year’s jury select the XC90 as overall winner with 1,512 points, the jury also awarded it the most number of high scores available in the competition.

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.

The XC90 combines Swedish luxury and classy, minimalist design with supreme road manners and efficient driving dynamics. Powered by new-generation, 2.0-litre turbocharged Drive-E petrol and diesel engines – the sophisticated vehicle forges ahead as the first vehicle in the Volvo stable to be produced on its award-winning modular platform.

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.

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.

BMW has won the SA Car Of The Year title a record-breaking 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 each won the title once.
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.

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