Home / Social media / News / The 2024 SA Car of the Year is the BMW 7 Series. Tell us your thoughts.


It’s that time of the year again, SA Car of the Year time. The event has changed up a bit over the years, and now it’s become more about the cars than the show, but the gala event is still an amazing one to attend. The who’s who of the motoring industry comes out to celebrate all things motoring and to see how the judging panel from the South African Guild of Mobility Journalists has scored the various cars entered into the competition. As the title tells you, BMW won this year’s competition, and along with that also clinched a couple more category wins. The brand has been absent from the competition for around 5 years now, so entering and winning is a big thing. Many will no doubt complain that the winning car is out of the reach of the regular South African, and that is true but there is a scoring system in place to account for this. Personally, the category that counts the most is the Budget/Compact one because the cars seen there are more representative of what people can actually afford in SA. It’s no real surprise that Suzuki SA won this one with the Suzuki Fronx. Here’s the full run down from SAGMJ for you.

The BMW 7 Series clinched the 2024 SA Car of the Year title at a prestigious gala event held on the 8th of May in Johannesburg. Among 18 finalists, it emerged as a standout contender, impressing COTY jurors from the SAGMJ throughout the evaluation process. The Suzuki Fronx secured second place overall, with the BMW M2 claiming third. Charles Nortje, Managing Director of Old Mutual Insure (OMI), a leading insurer in South Africa and a main sponsor of COTY for the past two years, expressed his delight at the outcome of this year's COTY competition. He remarked on the industry's rapid advancements, particularly in automotive safety. "Congratulations to the overall victor and category winners of the 38th annual COTY competition. With ever-heightening competition levels year on year, and with new technology and better value-for-money offerings from the different brands, the winners of this year's contest should feel immensely proud of achieving top honours." The 2024 COTY competition saw 18 finalists carefully selected from an impressive pool of 80 qualifying vehicles representing various fiercely contested categories. The competition featured Budget/Compact, Compact Family, Family, Premium, Adventure SUV, 4×4 Double Cab, Luxury, and Performance categories. With a greater representation of EVs across the different categories, the previous New Energy category was dropped in this year's competition. 

The category winners of the 2024 COTY competition are:

Budget/Compact: Suzuki Fronx

Compact Family: Toyota Urban Cruiser

Family: BMW X1

Premium: Mercedes-Benz GLC

Adventure SUV: Mahindra Scorpio-N

4x4 Double Cab: Volkswagen Amarok

Luxury: BMW 7 Series

Performance: BMW M2

The Mahindra Scorpio-N also won the "Motor Enthusiasts Choice" award, which was determined by public votes in a social media campaign led by OMI. This category was added three years ago to recognise the increasing importance of public engagement in the COTY competition.

Another accolade for the BMW brand, which clinched the overall COTY victory plus three category wins, is the COTY Jurors Excellence Award granted to the 7 Series, recognising the jurors' admiration for its exceptional driving experience, vehicle quality, and craftsmanship based on the jurors' input scores. After the formal vehicle evaluation and jury scoring, Lightstone Auto*, COTY's competition partner, contributes data-driven insights and online market intelligence. This allows COTY to objectively measure factors in market relevance regarding volume and share of segment, while also recognising the importance of a product’s value relative to its immediate market competitors. This change has been particularly successful, resulting in recent winners ranging from an EV, two family crossovers, a 4x4 Double Cab, and for 2024, a luxury sedan. Mabuyane Mabuza, Chairperson of the SAGMJ and the 2023 and 2024 COTY competitions, congratulated the winners and all the competitor entries. "It's heartening to see the automotive industry's dedication to providing high-quality, technologically advanced products across all categories to meet modern buyers' mobility needs." For the 2024 COTY competition, OMI created the exclusive OMI COTY Academy, where a diverse group of seasoned jurors and vibrant newcomers from the digital landscape shared their expertise. This collaboration continuously elevates competition standards, ensuring relevance and status in the industry and among car buyers themselves. Mabuza explained that the COTY competition evaluates all entrants based on design, technology, engineering, powertrain performance, handling, ingenuity and safety. After the expert panel completes scoring, the automated factors provided by Lightstone Auto offer data-driven insights and online market intelligence that transcends merely scoring the driving experience. "After securing victory in the 38th edition of the COTY competition in 2024, BMW now holds the record for the most overall wins in this prestigious showcase, having triumphed in six previous years, namely  1988, 1990, 1993, 1997, 2001 and 2011. It is remarkable that the BMW 7 Series now marks their seventh win in the competition!. We extend our gratitude to all participating manufacturers in the 2024 COTY competition and express heartfelt appreciation to our sponsors, partners, and dedicated Guild members for upholding the esteemed reputation of our nation's premier car competition,” Mabuza concluded.

Take a look at the YouTube video that shows off a load of the things that make the latest 7 Series a winner. It's a whole lot of car aimed at a unique buyer - the kind not on our friend's list: All you need to know | The new 7 | BMW

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