The South African Guild of Motoring Journalists (SAGMJ) has announced the finalists competing for top spot in their respective categories and the overall title of 2021’s South African Car of the Year. This year, 23 cars are competing over nine categories: Budget, Compact, Family Compact, Family, Premium, Performance, New Energy, Adventure SUV and Double Cab. According to the SAGMJ, the final round of scoring will commence shortly and is set to continue until 11 June. The category winners and overall South African Car of the Year will be announced on 26 June.

Toyota’s Suzuki Baleno-based Starlet is the Japanese manufacturer’s first of three nominees.

Three vehicles are competing in the Budget category. Here, the Hyundai Grand i10 goes up against Suzuki’s quirky S-Presso city crossover and the Toyota Starlet.

The Vitara Brezza is Suzuki’s second nominee.

In the Compact category, both Hyundai and Suzuki has received their second nominations, with the Hyundai Venue and Suzuki Vitara Brezza listed as two of the three finalists here. The Korean and Japanese manufacturer’s small crossovers go up against the new-generation Opel Corsa.

Kia’s Seltos compact crossover faces stiff competition in the hotly contested Compact Family segment.

The most contested category at this year’s South African Car of the Year awards, the Compact Family category consists of six nominees. Receiving their third and second nominations respectively, Hyundai’s Creta crossover and Toyota’s Corolla Sedan faces stiff competition in the shape of the Volkswagen T-Roc, Kia Seltos, Peugeot 2008 and the Mazda CX-30.

The Mercedes-Benz GLA goes up against a sedan and family van for top honours in the Family category.

A sedan, crossover and van compete for top spot in the Family category. The nominees are the Audi A4, Mercedes-Benz’s GLA and the Volkswagen Caravelle.

The 4 Series is BMW’s only nomination in this year’s SACOTY awards.

Only two vehicles are competing in the Premium category, with BMW receiving their first nomination with the 4 Series and Mercedes-Benz their second with the E-Class.

Hyundai’s hot hatch faces a venerable rival – the Porsche 911 Turbo S – in the Performance category.

In the Performance category, a hot hatch takes on a super sportscar, with the Hyundai i30 N taking on Porsche’s flagship 911 – the Turbo S – for top honours.

The Land Rover Defender 110 and Toyota Land Cruiser Prado go head to head in the Adventure SUV category.

In the Adventure SUV category, the tried-and-tested Toyota Land Cruiser Prado goes up against the capable new Land Rover Defender 110.

Toyota’s bestselling bakkie – the Hilux – goes uncontested in the Double Cab category.

The sole contender in the Double Cab category, the Toyota Hilux double-cab bakkie can now set its sights firmly on the overall title of 2021’s South African Car of the Year.

The Porsche’s emissions-free saloon is the sole nominee in the New Energy category.

Like the Double Cab category, the New Energy category consists of only one nominee. Here the Porsche Taycan goes uncontended for the New Energy title.