|South African Cars of the Year 2010|
After testing all eligible cars launched onto the South African market between 1 November 2008 and 31 October 2009, the South African Guild of Motoring Journalists (SAGMJ) has bestowed the title of South Africa’s Car of the Year 2010 on VW Golf 1.4 TSI.
We bring you the overview of the winner and the seven finalists:
Volkswagen Golf 1.4 TSI Comfortline
On the outside, the winner of the prestigious title is simply not a head-turner. However the interior is extremely comfortable and boasts a high standard in equipment. Safety is well considered, with nine air bags, side impact bars and ABS brakes.
The Golf scores best for its performance and boasts an impressive six-speed gearbox.
Audi Q5 2.0 T S-Tronic
Audi’s 4x4 SUV lives up to its sporty claim. The handling is excellent, yet quiet and comfortable, and the S-Tronic gearbox has seven well-chosen ratios.
The sporty feel becomes apparent during cornering. There is little body roll. The road grip is good and the steering feels responsive.
Chevrolet Cruze 1.8 LS
GM’s new “compact sedan” has a sophisticated, clean design and overall high build quality. It has no pretensions to be a sporty car. It’s steering can feel a trifle vague at times, but it has a deal of interior space that puts some of the competition to shame.
Hyundai i20 1.6 GLS
The Hyundai has an excellent level of standard equipment, including adjustable power steering, and air conditioning, however, its winning appeal is the value for money. The interior space is more than adequate, even in the back, with ample leg and headroom.
Suzuki Alto 1.0 GLS
The Suzuki Alto knows its place. It’s a small city runabout and fulfils that position to perfection. The interior is not luxurious, but it is comfortable, with a decent sound system and air conditioning. Performance is certainly not earth-shattering either, but it has excellent fuel consumption.
Toyota Prius 1.8 ECVT Advanced
The Toyota Prius is a hybrid vehicle with both petrol and electric motors. The combination makes for efficient fuel consumption. The Prius has excellent safety features, with air bags seemingly everywhere. Not content with an ABS braking system, Toyota have also included an emergency BAS (Braking Assist System).
Alfa Romeo Mito 1.4I Turbo Petrol
The Alfa is packed with Italian design, from the exhaust note to the curving bodylines. The feel of the car’s handling is changed through the aptly named DNA switch, although in this case D stands for Dynamic, N for Normal and A for All-weather. All controlled by the clever Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) system.
Volvo XC60 3.0T Geartronic
Volvo’s XC60 is full of innovations designed to help safer driving. Blind spot indicators in the side mirrors alert you to vehicles outside your range of vision and you are warned if you change lanes without blinking. The V6, 3-litre motor provides excellent, if thirsty, performance.