Mercedes-Benz A-Class is the 2019 Auto Trader South African car of the Year and won it by a healthy margin! The sought-after award was presented at a spectacular function at Shepstone Gardens in Johannesburg last month.
Much like the actual venue (which was top secret, guests were shuttled there at the very last minute), the identity of the winner was a closely-guarded secret. So too were the runners-up, namely the Porsche Cayenne and Volvo XC40.
The victory was an extremely momentous occasion for Mercedes-Benz, which last won the South African Car of the Year back in 1987 with the Mercedes-Benz 260E. Porsche last won in 2018 with the Panamera, while Volvo’s XC90 took the crown in 2016.
It certainly wasn’t unexpected though; the jury members were full of praise for the A-Class during the test days. “The judges were particularly impressed with its interior comfort, stunning design, innovative technology, terrific road manners and exemplary safety features. Furthermore, the advanced engine offers the optimal blend of efficiency, performance and driving fun,” confirmed Rubin van Niekerk, chairman of the South African Guild of Motoring Journalists (SAGMJ).
Incredibly, members of the public reached the same conclusion as the highly qualified jury members, who collectively have many years of experience in the motor industry.
For the first time in the competition’s 34-year-long history, members of the public could cast a vote via the AutoTrader website – and pick a car that they believed most deserving for the South African Car of the Year title.
George Mienie, AutoTrader CEO, said: “After 55 000 consumer votes, I am delighted to reveal that the public vote yielded exactly the same result: they also chose the Mercedes-Benz A-Class.”
In a historic first for the AutoTrader South African Car of the Year, categories were introduced.
These were the category winners:
Urban-Compact Category Winner – Suzuki Swift
Sedan/Hatch Category Winner – Mercedes-Benz A-Class
Sedan Category Winner – Lexus ES
Utility Category Winner – Suzuki Jimny
Crossover Category Winner – Porsche Cayenne.