In addition to SA Car of the Year (COTY), Toyota also won the following categories: Compact Category – Urban Cruiser Compact Family Category – Corolla Cross New Energy Category – Corolla Cross Hybrid Adventure SUV Category – Toyota Land Cruiser 300
The Corolla name has a rich and diverse history spanning 12 generations, having racked up over 50 million global sales – making it one of the most successful vehicle model ranges ever. Originally spawned as a compact city car in 1966, the Corolla has continued to evolve in line with the needs of the times and of the regions it is sold in.
It is the third time that the Corolla nameplate clinched the COTY accolade. In fact, the first front-wheel drive Corolla launched in 1984 won the inaugural SA Guild of Motoring Journalists’ Car of the Year award in 1986. Three years later (1989), Corolla was once more voted the SA Guild of Motoring Journalists’ Car of the Year award, with a GLi Twin Cam 16 Executive.
The newly-crowned COTY champion, Corolla Cross, represents the first foray into the crossover/SUV space and combines the respected core-product characteristics Corolla is known for, with a new bodyshape that offers enhanced function and utility. Launched towards the end of the 2021, the Corolla Cross is offered in both petrol as well as hybrid variants and is built locally at Prospecton Plant in Durban.
According to COTY, this year saw top-quality entrants participating for the coveted award in the SA market. “Although we saw the competition develop and grow over the past 36 years with introducing category winners, additional categories, automated scoring, the public’s favourite and Juror’s Excellence Award, one thing did not change – the exceptional contenders and their proud makers,” says Carl Wepener, Chairman of the South African Guild of Mobility Journalists (SAGMJ).
The SAGMJ said over 49 vehicles spanning, eight segments, competed in this year’s COTY competition to be crowned king of their categories. “On behalf of the Toyota family – including our dealers, colleagues at the plant as well as the sales and marketing group – we are truly proud of how the Corolla Cross has been received not only by our customers but by the local media as well.
“While it might have taken 33 years for Corolla to win another COTY, we do feel this one is really special as this is a locally produced model that shoot the lights out the moment it hit the dealer floor,” says Leon Theron, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at TSAM.