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Article by Motoring Staff

Ford Ranger crowned SA’s car of the year for 2023. The new Ford Ranger was launched locally at the end of 2022. This is the first time in the competition’s 37-year history that a double cab 4×4 bakkie has been crowned the overall winner.


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Mabuyane Mabuza, chairperson of the 2023 COTY Competition, said this achievement is a testament to the automotive industry’s commitment to producing high-quality double cabs that blend strong performance with comfort, safety and cutting-edge technology.

“Over the past decade, the popularity of SUVs and double cab bakkies has skyrocketed at the expense of sedans,” said Mabuza.

“Double cabs have become a common choice for everyday commuting, family adventures and work applications, providing a popular solution for South African mobility demands.”

Organised by the SA Guild of Motoring Journalists (SAGMJ) since 1986, the COTY is perhaps the country’s most respected and sought-after motoring accolade. This year’s competition was particularly exciting, with the 2023 COTY jurors selecting 21 finalists from an impressive pool of 55 qualifying vehicles representing various categories.


Overall winner aside, the competition also acknowledged category winners:

Compact Family category: BAIC Beijing X55

Midsize category: KIA Sportage          

Premium category: KIA Sorento

Adventure SUV category: Ford Everest

Double Cab 4×4 category: Ford Ranger

Luxury category: Mercedes-Benz S-class

Performance category: Audi RS 3

New-energy category: Volvo XC 40 P8 Recharge


The Budget category had no contenders while the Compact category, though commendable, did not meet the required percentage to secure a category win.

The Mercedes-Benz S-class also won the coveted COTY Jurors Excellence Award, which recognises the unparalleled driving experience of an extraordinary vehicle and represents the jurors’ raw scores, acknowledging exceptional vehicle quality and craftsmanship.

Additional honours instituted at the SAGMJ’s AGM (AGM) in 2021 were the Most Admired OEM and the Best PR in the industry. The winners of this year’s awards will be announced at the Guild’s AGM later in June. Though these two awards are not officially part of the COTY competition, they are just as prestigious.

“We would like to thank all the OEMs participating in the 2023 COTY competition,” said Mabuza.

“We also extend our heartfelt appreciation to our sponsors, partners, hardworking jurors, and dedicated Guild members who tirelessly uphold the esteemed reputation of our nation’s premier car competition. It is also an honour to recognise the exceptional jurors who take immense pride in their involvement with COTY.”


Main Image: The new Ford Ranger took overall honours in this year’s COTY competition.
Image: Supplied


Article credit to Times LIVE Motoring.



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