The 2018 WesBank South African Car of the Year has been crowned – and it’s bound to stir some controversy. At a gala evening in Midrand last night, the Porsche Panamera was crowned the 2018 South African Car of the Year – giving Porsche their fourth title within the last six years.
The Porsche Panamera beat out the Volvo S90, which finished in second place and was our choice for the crown, and the Alfa Romeo Giulia, which finished in third place. The remaining finalists that weren’t in the top three were the Audi Q5, BMW 5 Series, Kia Picanto, Land Rover Discovery, Peugeot 3008, Suzuki Ignis, and the Toyota C-HR.
However, after thorough testing in January this year, the Porsche Panamera was decided to be the best amongst its peers – with the result once again serving as a reminder that the award rewards excellence amongst the vehicles in a relative segment, rather than pitting the finalists against one another.
The Car of the Year jurors scored the finalists on several criteria including affordability, cabin styling, layout, and ergonomics, engine performance and technology, engineering integrity and build quality, exterior design, overall excellence, ride quality, steering and handling, new technology, transmission performance, and value for money.
The result has immediately drawn huge controversy from the public, with many citing that the Panamera isn’t representative of the vehicles the majority of the buying public can afford – the same arguments made when Porsche won their previous three titles.
The controversy prompts whether in future, the SA Car of the Year title could be separated into segments to perhaps classify and award the best luxury car, sports car, and general passenger vehicle.