After taking the World Car of the Year title in 2016, expectations were heaped high upon the Opel Astra’s shoulders to do well in the South African competition this year. When we tested the Opel Astra 1.6T Sport+ late last year, we even pegged it as a future COTY winner – and the hatchback has followed through to do just that!
Fending off 9 other competitors to win the competition, the Astra’s combination of solid driving dynamics, vastly improved quality, and loads of tech gave it all it needed to take the win.
The Opel Astra scored a total of 2 370.25 points to beat the Audi A4 in 2nd (2 338.56 points) and the hotly favoured Volkswagen Passat (2 337.35 points) in 3rd. Importantly, 94.8% of the Astra’s marks were in the 5-10 mark range, indicating excellence across all areas, with almost all the jurors feeling the same way about it.
Voting took place after stringent testing at the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit, after which points were allocated for Exterior Design & Styling; Interior Use of Materials; Interior Layout; Technology; Engine Performance; Gearbox & Transmission; Engineering Integrity & Build Quality; Ride Quality & Refinement; Steering & Handling; Affordability; Value for Money; and Overall Excellence.
With the 2017 COTY title, Opel now lies 2nd in the overall list of most titles won – racking up a total of 4, with BMW leading on 6. Opel first won with the Monza in 1991, before the Kadett took the title in ’94 (the Kadett was essentially the Astra hatch) and the Astra sedan in ’95 – making the Astra brand a 3-time winner on local soil.
To see why we pegged the Opel Astra as a COTY winner, read our review HERE.