Hyundai’s Tucson has been chosen as a finalist in the South African Guild of Motoring Journalists (SAGMJ) and WesBank’s Car-of-the-Year competition for 2017.
It is the first time that Hyundai Automotive South Africa has a finalist in the annual competition of the SAGMJ since the Hyundai i30 1.8 GLS was in contention for the 2013 South African Car-of-the-Year prize.
In the previous year, the Hyundai Elantra was crowned as South Africa’s Car of the Year for 2012 – the first time that a Korean brand could boast with this accolade.
The third-generation Tucson, launched in South Africa in March 2016, will compete with nine other finalists for the title of 2017 Car of the Year, which is to be announced at a gala banquet on 15 March next year.
All ten finalists will be subjected to two days of stringent evaluations at the beginning of February 2017 at the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit in Midrand, Gauteng. The COTY Jury will assess the cars independently, with routes and modules designed to test the vehicles in a similar way in which the average consumer would use them.
The evaluation days offer the Jury the opportunity to reacquaint themselves with the vehicles on aspects such as aesthetics, build quality, ergonomics, fuel consumption, environmental friendliness, safety features and value for money. The Jury will also have access to performance test data, comparative pricing and specification data, as well as comparative parts pricing data.
Hyundai Automotive SA launched the third-generation Tucson in March this year, returning to the model name that helped Hyundai to establish itself as a leading brand in South Africa.
Originally launched in 2005, the first-generation Hyundai Tucson caught the attention of South Africa SUV buyers and became a firm top-seller in the segment for several years before it was followed by its successor, the ix35, in 2009. The ix35, which was a Car-of-the-Year finalist in 2010, also reigned as top-seller in the compact SUV segment for many months.
In March this year the new Tucson model was received with very positive media reports – its exceptional ride and build quality, stylish, bold design and the performance of the new 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine in the range were, among others, mentioned as outstanding features.
It is not only South Africans who have an affinity for the Hyundai Tucson – the new-generation model became the fastest-selling Hyundai car in the United Kingdom and across Europe to date since its market launch in September last year.
Hyundai’s factory in Nošovice in the east of the Czech Republic, where the South African 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine Tucson derivatives are sourced from, have to operate at full capacity to meet the demand in the UK and Europe.