The majority of the South African motoring fraternity took to the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg to witness the announcement. Last year’s fairly controversial winner, the Porsche Boxster, was parked proudly at the entrance while this year’s finalists surrounded the guests.
Again in a rather controversial twist, the Porsche Cayman S took the 2014 title, making it two wins in a row for the German brand.
The Cayman S received 199 points overall from the 28 judges and narrowly beat out the Volkswagen Golf 7 1.4 TSI 90 kW Comfortline DSG, which received 192 points (see full ranking list and points scored at the end of this article).
The peer-elected Car of the Year jury is allowed 50 votes that may be allocated to all nine finalists, but to no less than seven and with no more than 10 points allocated to any one vehicle. All votes are motivated and open to scrutiny.
The South African Guild of Motoring Journalists (SAGMJ) evaluates and then scores each vehicle in relation to its segment competitors and not against the other finalists. 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.
For the jury to come to its decision, a uniquely South African testing procedure sees each of the finalists being put through a stringent testing procedure at the world-renowned Gerotek Test Facilities outside Pretoria.
The new Cayman has a longer wheelbase than its predecessor along with a new chassis. These two elements add a new level of dynamic appeal and practicality to what has always been a very solid package. Motoring media worldwide has remarked that it is one of the best-handling vehicles that money can buy. There is also a mid-mounted 3.4-litre flat-six motor and arguably the best double-clutch transmission ever fitted to the vehicle.
Here are the results of the 2014 Car of the Year competition:
1. Porsche Cayman S 199
2. Volkswagen Golf 7 1.4 TSI 90 kW Comfortline DSG 192
3. 2013 Audi A3 Sportback 1.4T FSI Manual 168
4. Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG 143
5. Jaguar F-Type 3.0 V6 S 136
6. Renault Clio4 66kW Turbo Dynamique
7. Lexus IS 350 F-Sport 123
8. Volvo V40 D3 Geartronic Excel 106
9. Peugeot 208 GTi 100