Gumtree Awards – VW dominates

With fuel prices having reached record highs and little, or no, relief in sight car buyers are increasingly looking at pre-owned stock as a method of containing overall motoring costs.

However, the second-hand market can be a minefield of its own with horror stories about unscrupulous dealers, odomoter rewinding and other nefarious tactics abounding – so, the Gumtree Pre-Owned Vehicle Awards gives potential buyers a good base from where to begin.


In the most recent awards, Volkswagen increased its dominance by winning five of the 11 categories after taking three awards in the inaugural competition last year.

Only 2016 models with at least six months of depreciation data were considered for this year’s awards, as two-year old vehicles are the most popular models being considered by pre-owned buyers in 2018.

The Gumtree awards seek to recognise and promote the best pre-owned models in the market across 11 categories, based on criteria a buyer may use when evaluating pre-owned cars as well as depreciation and sales figures provided by TransUnion. The important criteria for buyers in this market are: resale value, quality, durability, overall performance and economy and especially outright value for money of various vehicles offered for sale in South Africa.

The winners were selected from a list of 55 finalists made up of the top five vehicles having the most favourable depreciation in each of the 11 categories. These models then underwent further evaluation, including physical road testing.

One category – for SUVs costing less than R505 000 – was added for 2018, replacing the previous sports car category, which was considered too niche.

Representative examples of the 55 finalists were sourced and tested by former national motor sport champion Charl Wilken, who drew up detailed and illustrated information sheets which were sent to a judging panel for voting. The results were audited and verified before being announced.

Members of the 2018 judging panel were: Charl Wilken (Wilken Communication Management), Adam Ford (Ignition TV/Buyers’ Guide), Roger McCleery (Radio Today), Lerato Matebese (Driven), Michele Lupini (AutoBakkieRace), Liana Reiners (AutoLive), Zerildi Pieters (Daily Sun), Matthew Kanniah (Blogger), Alan Rosenmeyer (Motormatters), Sean Nurse (AutoDealer), and Mabuyane Kekana (Metro FM).

Volkswagen dominated the hatchback and sedan categories up to R300 000 this year, winning the Budget City Car category with the Take Up!, the Light Hatchback category with the Polo Vivo, the Medium Sedan category with the Jetta, and the Medium Hatchback category with the Golf 1.4TSI. Volkswagen’s fifth winner was the Golf R, which shared top spot in the performance car category under R615 000 with the Audi S3-S-Tronic.


Toyota, Mazda and Audi won two categories each and Jaguar took a sole category win.

As expected Toyota triumphed in the categories for SUVs under R505 000 with the Fortuner and 4×2 Double Cabs under R460 000 with the Hilux.

Mazda won the Cross-over category with the CX3 in quite dominant fashion as it was the only category all 11-judges scored the same vehicle as the winner. Mazda also won the SUVs under R330 000 with its CX5 2.0 Active model.


Audi’s first category winner was the Audi S3 which shared the spoils in the Performance Car category with the Volkswagen Golf R. This was also undoubtedly the closest contested category, as even the third placed BMW 240i was a mere 10-points adrift. In another close duel the Audi A4 2.0TDI S-Tronic narrowly beat the BMW 330D by a mere 2-points to earn Audi’s a second category win.

Jaguar took the award in the category for Luxury SUVs under R700 000 with the very attractively styled F-Pace.


It was interesting to note three of the 2018 winners were the same models that walked away with the laurels in 2017. They were the Volkswagen Golf 1.4TSI Trendline, Volkswagen Golf R as well as the Mazda CX3 2.0 Individual.

“We were very pleased with the acceptance of the Gumtree pre-owned awards by the public last year and the latest results, which benefit from fine-tuning after last year’s inaugural event and therefore will be of great interest and benefit to buyers in the booming pre-owned market in South Africa,” commented Jeff Osborne, Head of Automotive at Gumtree.

“We see these awards as an overdue recognition of the brands and models which best hold their value while delivering reliable performance with reasonable maintenance costs, particularly as the pre-owned market is currently more than twice the size of the new vehicle market.”

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