Now in its fifth year, the Consumer Awards powered by Wesbank gala event took place on Thursday, 6 February at the Kyalami Grand Prix circuit. As most of you know, I serve as one of the judges and it was my fourth time participating. It is by far my favourite judging gig, even though it’s hard work but extremely rewarding and fun.

Hannes from on stage

Here’s the list of the 13 category winners:

Adventure SUV: Toyota Fortuner 2.8 GD-6 4×4 Auto
Budget Car: Suzuki Swift 1.2 GLX
Business Class: Volkswagen Arteon 2.0TSI 4Motion R-Line
Compact Family Car: Volkswagen T-Cross 1.0 TSI Highline R-Line
Compact Hatch: Volkswagen Polo 1.0TSI Comfortline Auto
Crossover: Audi Q3 35 TFSI S Line
Executive SUV: BMW X3 xDrive20d M Sport
Family Car: Mazda CX-5 2.0 Dynamic Auto
Fun Hatch: Volkswagen Polo GTI
Leisure Double-Cab: Volkswagen Amarok 3.0 V6 TDI Highline 4Motion
Performance Car: Toyota GR Supra 3.0T
Premium Hatch: Volkswagen Golf GTI
Premium SUV: BMW X5 xDrive30d M-Sport

The winners

The most important award, Brand of the Year, that is chosen entirely by consumers went to Volkswagen South Africa. The company walked away with seven awards that evening, also proving what we already know – South Africans LOVE the VW brand!

Team VW with their awards

Here are some highlights put together by

  • In the four previous iterations of the #CarsAwards, Suzuki and Toyota won the Brand of the Year title twice. However, the 2019/20 recipient of the most coveted #CarsAwards trophy – which is determined entirely by market and customer data – is Volkswagen.
  • And, by garnering six more trophies on the night (BMW and Toyota won two each), Volkswagen remains the most prolific category winner (16) in #CarsAwards history.
  • Representatives of the Volkswagen Amarok, Arteon and Polo, Toyota Fortuner and Suzuki Swift ranges successfully defended their category victories from the 2018/19 #CarsAwards, although in the case of the Amarok and Swift, with different derivatives.
  • The Volkswagen Amarok and Toyota Fortuner have now won their respective categories – Leisure Double-Cab and Adventure SUV – for three consecutive years. Suzuki won the Budget Car category (with a Swift derivative) for an incredible fourth year in a row.
  • Three of the 2019/20 category winners (BMW X3, Mazda CX-5 and the Volkswagen Golf GTI) rebounded from having finished as runners up in the previous year’s #CarsAwards.
  • In no fewer than five of the 13 categories the judges’ favourites did not win, due to the impact of data from the Ownership Satisfaction Survey (more details to follow).
  • The narrowest victory margin (0.1%) was in the Budget Car and Leisure Double-Cab categories; the largest (3.2%) was in Compact Hatch. The Budget Car category had the smallest gap between first and third place (1.4%); Performance Car the biggest (12.6%).

I look forward to being a part of the process once again later this year!

MC Bonang and Cassper Nyovest on stage