Car of the year – Porsche Macan makes it a hat trick


Car lovers – private, corporate and people in the industry – must have looked twice today when they saw that Porsche yet again produced the South African Guild of Motoring Journalists’ Car Of The Year when its Macan S Diesel was announced the winner.

The 3rd Porsche in a row to take this title in as many years would have raised more than just eyebrows. It is by far too expensive to be considered an everyday car, and to top it all, it fits into a small niche – that of (very) expensive SUVs that will NEVER see the kind of terrain they were designed for. Who in his right mind will take a Porsche on a bundu bashing trip on tracks where you are more likely to see bakkies?


The Macan S Diesel faced stiff competition in the 11-strong finalist line-up that represented the best of the best from a cross-section of segments and price points, making it one of the most hotly contested races in the competition’s 30-year history.

And speaking of price – at nearly R900 000, where does the “value for money” come from?

On its road to winning the 2015 WesBank / SAGMJ Car Of The Year title, the Porsche Macan also collected several international awards including SUV category winner at the AJAC’s 2015 Canadian Car Of The Year Awards; the AutoExpress Best Compact SUV; and the Car and Driver Editor’s Choice awards in both the Compact Luxury SUV and Compact Performance SUV categories.

Hailed by motoring journalists from across the globe as one of the best SUVs ever built, the Porsche Macan S Diesel is a compact yet muscular vehicle that received the highest average score from the 28 SA Guild of Motoring Journalists Jury members who were tasked with selecting this year’s winner.

So be it, but the best car in South Africa?

Online polls showed the Macan down on the bottom half of the list, so how did it come out tops?

One online comment suggested the journalists polling these cars are just not used to the kind of luxury and performance of the car as they don’t drive them regularly. What cars do these journos own? was another question.

The same goes for the other side of the scale – people who do NOT drive executive cars every day (like journos) might not appreciate the true value of these supercars.

The South African competition is based on the European Car Of The Year points-based scoring system, but is unique in the world of motoring in that, before the final votes are cast, each of the finalists is also put through a stringent testing procedure by the peer-elected COTY Jury at the world-renowned Gerotek Vehicle Testing Facility outside Pretoria.

The Jury is allowed 50 votes that may be allocated to all 11 finalists, but to no less than seven, and with no more than 10 points allowed for any one vehicle. All votes are motivated and open to scrutiny.

The winning vehicle is evaluated and scored in relation to its segment competitors. While each vehicle’s final score is determined by assessing aesthetics, dynamics, performance, fuel efficiency, safety, technology, parts pricing and cost of ownership, to name but a few, the overriding criterion to which each vehicle is scored, is overall excellence.

“The SUV market is growing steadily across the globe and South Africa is no exception,” says Bernard Hellberg Jr, COTY Chairman, and Vice-chairman of the SA Guild of Motoring Journalists. “The Macan has proven its dominance of the luxury end of this segment by consistently delivering on the high levels of automotive excellence that the Car Of The Year competition aims to reward.” he concludes.

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. This year, the SA Guild of Motoring Journalists celebrates 30 years of excellence in motoring as we look forward to another 30 years at the cutting edge of motoring excellence.