The Hyundai Elantra 1.8 GLS was crowned the 2012 WesBank / SAGMJ Car of the Year at a spectacular gala banquet held at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand on Wednesday.

With entertainment from Emmanuel Castis and a gorgeous Nádine, the Elantra beat the other nine finalists by some margin, with a total of 230 points.

The top five finalists included the Kia Picanto (155 points), the VW Jetta (141 points), Suzuki’s Kizashi (49 points) and the Alfa Romeo Giulietta (48 points).

For the first time in the 27 years of the local COTY competition, a Korean manufacturer walked off with the title. It’s a first for Hyundai South Africa, despite having had numerous products in the running in previous COTY competitions.

The South African win comes on the back of the 2012 North American Car of the Year title, which the Elantra scooped in January this year.

Earlier this month, in a review of the Elantra, I predicted that the car, which has sold one million units in its first year of production, was likely to win the competition.

“At this price level, the Elantra is simply the best car in its class in my opinion and I would actually buy one. I also believe it will walk off with this year’s COTY crown,” I wrote.

To read my earlier full overview of the Hyundai Elantra 1.8 GLS, click here.

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