The South African competition is based on the European Car of the Year points-based scoring system, but is unique as, unlike the European version, the cars are put through stringent testing before the actual voting takes place. This testing takes place at the world-renowned Gerotek vehicle testing facility outside Pretoria.
Following a workshop conducted by the South African Guild of Motor Journalists (SAGMJ) in 2012, a number of refinements to the competition were implemented in 2013, including the way the COTY jury was selected and the number of votes each jury member could allocate to the finalists.
The jury was allowed 50 votes that could be allocated to all 12 finalists, but to no less than seven and with no more than 10 points allocated to any one vehicle.
Not only did Porsche claim the title, it did so convincingly as well. In the end, the Boxster scored a total of 221 points, 40 points more than the Range Rover Evoque, which came in second. Third place went to the lovable Toyota 86, with a total of 177 points.
Kia’s Rio landed in fourth place, with a surprise fifth place for the luxurious Lexus GS350 EX.
Hyundai’s i30 took sixth place with a total of 106 votes, with the BMW 320i surprising everyone by only placing seventh on the grid. It should have been higher, but BMW and most of the other manufacturers were penalised for supplying non-standard vehicles for the evaluation part of the competition.
Nissan’s Juke was next up with 79 votes, followed closely by the family friendly Opel Meriva. Ford’s Ranger impressed with a total of 56 votes, followed by the frugal Toyota Yaris Hybrid on 47 points.
In last place was the Mercedes-Benz B180 CDI, which only got a total of 35 points from the jury.
To say the grid is controversial is quite the understatement. Many people believe that a car like the Porsche Boxster cannot win, simply because it’s not accessible to the general public.
The one thing we can say for sure is that 2013 will always be remembered as the year of the Porsche Boxster. Whether it will be remembered fondly remains to be seen. At the moment there seems to be two camps - those who passionately support Porsche’s victory and those who ridicule it.
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