The Car of the Year Award

Article by Jeremy Chua
1 Dec 2008

We explain how we rate the cars for the Car of the Year award.

Believe it or not, in any given year, motoring publications simply have too many cars to deal with.  There are not only numerous makes; there are just as many models.  And lest we forget, car manufacturers also spawn quite a number of variants per model.  So in the course of one year, they all add up.

You, our dear readers, are probably wondering, “But what’s so difficult about driving so many cars?  Don’t you guys just love doing that?”

Well, we certainly do.  Let us make one thing very clear however: Integrity is the name of our game.  While it’s definitely possible to test-drive dozens of cars in one day, that’s all we’d end up accomplishing – driving a lot of cars but not getting to know any of them at day’s end.

Which is why when we road-test each car, we devote to it the attention it deserves.  We will test the manufacturer’s performance and handling claims.  We will drive to the remotest spots on the island, in search of good locations for our photographs.  And in the name of objectivity, our personal tastes are thrown out the window during these tests.
By the end of the year, we would have driven many, many cars.  Most will be competent enough.  Some will have left us frustrated with their build quality.  And then there are those few that have simply outshone the competition.   

The theme for 2008 is “Down to earth awards for the people’s car”.  This means that the Car of the Year will be awarded to the car that is the most value for money. After considering the global economic turmoil and the fact that we are in a recession, this is simply the most relevant theme.  This is also in line with our mantra of providing the most useful advice to actual car buyers.

How this works
Our Car of the Year Award is an annual event conducted by our editorial team to honour the best cars that came into Singapore during the year.  We have six categories:

1.    Hatchbacks
2.    Compacts
3.    Executive sedans
4.    SUVs
5.    MPVs
6.    Performance cars

Each category has five nominees.  For each category, the cars were scored by our judges using the following criteria:

1.    Engine performance
2.    Handling characteristics
3.    Design
4.    Build Quality
5.    Price  
Each car which qualified for its category fulfilled the following requirements:

1.    The car was introduced into the Singapore market not more than one year ago.
2.    The car was not selected for previous COTY exercises.
3.    The car has been tested by our editorial team.

Determining the winner
The category winners will then be scored using the following percentages:

Readers’ poll – 40%
Judges’ Score – 60%

So as you can see, votes from the car-buying public are a huge determining factor.

On a final note, we’d like to reiterate that we are not looking for the most economical, biggest, best handling or most powerful car.  Our ultimate goal is to find the car which has a balance of these characteristics whilst offering the best value for money.

May the most outstanding car win!

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