The prestigious Car of the Year (COTY) Awards took place in Johannesburg on the 5th of May 2024, with 18 finalists competing across 8 categories. Ultimately, one beast stood out as the ultimate champion in the 4x4 Double Cab category: the new Volkswagen Amarok. It doesn't come as a surprise, however, as this glorious monster is a showstopper on wheels.

Having dominated in other awards, the VW Amarok really was the bakkie to beat. Sporting a powerful 3.0 TDI engine producing 165kW of power and 550Nm of torque, paired with glorious 18" alloy wheels, it's easy to see why this bakkie dominated. While the 6-speaker sound system, climatic air conditioning, and anti-dazzle rear-view mirror certainly didn't help the competition, the rear fog lights and chrome-plated rear bumper practically eliminated any other options left. 

The finalists were meticulously selected among 80 qualifying vehicles covering a variety of categories. There were several categories in the competition, including Budget/Compact, Compact Family, Family, Premium, Adventure SUV, 4x4 Double Cab, Luxury, and Performance. The previous New Energy category was eliminated from this year's competition due to the higher participation of electric vehicles (EVs) in all other categories.

The official vehicle evaluation and jury scoring are followed by data-driven insights and online market intelligence from Lightstone Auto, COTY's competition partner. Because of this, COTY is able to measure market relevance elements like volume and share of segments objectively and acknowledge the significance of a product's value in relation to its direct competitors. Recent winners of this modification include an EV, two family crossovers, a 4x4 Double Cab, and a luxury sedan scheduled for release in 2024. It has proven to be a highly effective modification.

The competition's result pleased Charles Nortje, Managing Director of Old Mutual Insure (OMI), which has been COTY's primary sponsor for the last two years. He commented on how quickly the industry was developing, especially in the area of car safety.

Additionally, Mabuyane Mabuza, the SAGMJ Chairperson, stated that it was encouraging to see the automotive industry's dedication to providing high-quality, technologically advanced products across all categories to meet modern buyers' mobility needs.