Sisters are doing it for themselves


Fiat 500 by Diesel and Alfa Romeo Giulietta both nomimated as finalists in this year’s WOW Awards

Just when you thought that all of the “Of the Year” awards were over for 2011, there are yet still a few shiny plaques to be handed out – the fifth annual WOW* Women’s Car of the Year awards, for example, have kicked into high gear (pun intended) and come September we’ll know exactly who will take home the big prizes. The WOW awards are unique in the sense that they’re the only car awards in South Africa designed and run by women, for women.

This year the field has been whittled down by the seven jurors (all members of the fairer sex naturally) to eight possible winners in each category. Of interest is the fact that this esteemed panel of judges, headed up by SA’s first Lady of Motoring, Charleen Clarke, has seen fit to nominate not one but two Italian models from the Fiat Group stable in the ultimate fun rides category.

Fiat Group Automobiles SA is therefore proud to announce that both the Alfa Romeo Giulietta and the Fiat 500 by Diesel will be vying for “The Incredibles” title in this year’s WOW Women’s Car of the Year awards. (The category winners will be chosen by the seven judges in conjunction with WOW readers.)

Here’s why the jury felt that the Giulietta and the 500 push all the right fun buttons:

Alfa Romeo Giulietta: “In the case of the Giulietta, it’s easy to become an addict because it’s simply one of the most beautiful cars…. Of course, you’re not really taking any chances if you buy one as it comes with a five-year/150 000km warranty.”

(Add to that a sticker price starting from just R246 917; a six-year service plan as standard and 30 000 to 35 000km service intervals depending on the model. Oh, and it’s also the safest family hatch ever tested by EuroNCAP – this one’s got winner written all over it. C. Yon)

Fiat 500 by Diesel: “The Fiat 500 has received a makeover from fashion label Diesel! The result is a quirky, stylish and utterly fun car that is bound to drive most fashionistas wild with delight.” (As with all 500s the 500 by Diesel is also a surprisingly rational choice. Few superminis can boast 5-star EuroNCAP safety credentials courtesy of seven airbags, ABS with EBD, traction control, stability control or ESP and Hill Holder. A full complement of creature comforts too, make the 500 the very height of haute ‘carture’. C. Yon)

Oscar Rivoli, the Managing Director of Fiat Group Automobiles SA, expresses why the WOW nominations are important to the Fiat Group: “It’s a fact that women have a significant influence on the purchase of a new car.

Even men who do not include a woman in the purchase decision are definitely swayed by the fairer sex – or, rather, what they perceive will be a woman’s impression of what car they buy. The Giulietta and the 500 make perfect sense to men and women alike because they strike the perfect balance between rational and emotional appeal.”

About WOW

WOW (Women on Wheels) is published by Associated Magazines and the latest copy which features all the details of the finalists, is bagged with the July issues of Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, House and Leisure and O, The Oprah Magazine.

There’s also a brand-new website –

– which will cover the full spectrum of ‘girlie’ motoring. Charleen Clarke, President of the SA Guild of Motoring Journalists, is the editor of WOW and she’s joined on the panel of judges by Vuyi Jabavu (Managing Director and the brains behind “Driving in Heels”), Helene Griffiths (motoring journalist and much more with over 30 years’ experience), Mabuyane Kekana (the Editor of Motor Mania), Peta Lee (a motoring hack with more than 20 years’ experience), Lindsay Vine (the ‘boss lady’ at Ignition TV) and Janine-Lee Gordon (City Press Motoring Editor).