It was a big night for BMW South Africa as the company walked away from the South Africa Car of the Year (COTY) Awards not only with the Overall honours for its 7-Series but clinched the second Runner Up spot with the M2 and sealed the deal by winning the Luxury, Family and Performance categories.

BMW 7 Series in South Africa

COTY, run by the South African Guild of Mobility Journalists, is the most prestigious and longest-running competition in the country celebrating automotive excellence and, with sponsors Old Mutual Insure, handed over the awards at a function in Sandton that followed a process in which vehicles were nominated and then went to a voting process to establish the 18 finalists that were taken through a physical evaluation and scoring before the winners emerged.

The Suzuki Fronx secured second place overall, with the BMW M2 claiming third.

Suzuki Fronx front view

You can find pre-owned examples of all the winners in this year's COTY right here

Charles Nortje, Managing Director of Old Mutual Insure (OMI), remarked on the industry's rapid advancements, particularly in automotive safety, saying: "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. 

Category Winners


Suzuki Fronx

Compact Family:

Toyota Urban Cruiser




Mercedes-Benz GLC

Adventure SUV:

Mahindra Scorpio-N

4x4 Double Cab:

Volkswagen Amarok


BMW 7 Series




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.

Mahindra Scorpio N

Don't let finance be a worry - just click here

Another accolade for the BMW brand was 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.

Check out the video of the COTY Awards

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.

Volkswagen Amarok Car of the Year contender

Mabuyane Mabuza, chairperson of the SAGMJ and the 2023 and 2024 COTY competitions,  says: "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."

"The eight category winners underscore the industry's intense competition and manufacturers' dedication to producing outstanding products across all price ranges, particularly in the changed automotive market post-COVID-19," Nortje remarked.

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.

Citroen C3 testing at Car of the Year

Need insurance - we have the solution

Mabuza explained 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!"

Colin Windell