Pic supplied by Motorpics.

The Honda Accord 2.4 Executive has been named the 2009 South African Car of the Year (COTY) by the SA Guild of Motoring Journalists (SAGMJ) at a gala banquet at Gallagher Convention Centre, in Midrand, last night.

The announcement of the prestigious accolade comes after a stringent process of voting and physical testing of eligible cars launched onto the SA market between 21 October 2007 and 31 October 2008.

An in-depth poll of the SAGMJ full members, followed by a vote by the COTY jury, arrived at nine finalists towards the end of last year. The COTY jury, made up of the top motoring journalists in the country, then put the finalists through three days of testing in January and subjected them to a rigid scoring process.

The final audited scores showed Honda’s mid-sized sedan as the eventual winner of what is widely considered to be the most prestigious accolade in the motor industry.

“Priced at just under R300 000, it’s at least as well equipped as cars costing 10% more, it’s great fun to drive, and it’s gorgeous to look at…. it’s clearly the logical choice in this competition,” predicted Mambaonline’s motoring correspondent, Christo Valentyn, in an earlier overview of the COTY finalists.

The Honda Accord beat off strong competition from the Ford Fiesta 1.6 Trend 5-dr, Suzuki Swift 1.5 GLS, Mazda6 2.5 Individual, Jaguar XF 3.0 V6 Premium Luxury A/T, VW Tiguan1.4TSI Trend and Fun 4Motion, Audi A4 1.8T Ambition multitronic, Honda Jazz 1.5 EX and Suzuki SX4 2.0.

This is the second time that Honda has received the accolade. In 2007, the Honda Civic 1.8VXi Sedan was awarded the COTY title.

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