A panel of experts from the South Africa Guild of Motoring Journalists has chosen the all-new Mazda2 as their South African 2008 Car of the Year.
The Mazda2 1.5 Individual was awarded the prestigious accolade ahead of eight other finalists at a gala event in Johannesburg held by the South Africa Guild of Motoring Journalists last night.
Mazda was the only manufacturer to feature two finalists in this year’s competition with the Mazda5 2.0 Active nominated alongside the Mazda2 1.5 Individual.
Mazda may have further reason to celebrate later in the week.
Having won a number of Car of the Year awards around the world, the Mazda2 is also one of three cars named as a finalist in the 2008 World Car of the Year competition with the ultimate winner due to be announced on 20 March. The Mazda2 also stands in line to win the 2008 World Car Design of the Year.
“To say we are delighted is an understatement,” said Hal Feder, President and CEO of Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa. “Competition was tough amongst this year’s nine finalists, so we are very proud to see Mazda take this award for the first time ever in South Africa.”
The other finalists included: Fiat Bravo 1.4 T-Jet Sport; Land Rover Freelander TD4 HSE Auto; Honda CR-V 2.2 i-CTDI; Lexus LS460; Mazda5 2.0 Active; Mercedes-Benz C220 CDI Classic; Nissan Qashqai 2.0 Accenta; and the Toyota Corolla 1.8 Exclusive.