Day Two, and the meat of the competition, after a good
night’s rest and some fun at The Emerald Casino on the
banks of the Vaal River.
And looking forward… good back-roads to challenge a
car’s ride qualities, and a repetitive loop to enable
Now the journalists could stretch the cars’ legs.
Steering feel and accuracy, so important to a car’s
relationship with its driver, was highlighted by
undulations on the road surface.
And gentle sweeps also showed up the cars’ ability to
hold a constant line, without need of corrections
half-way through a bend.
This is where it was appropriate to let the engines wind
out through the rev range. For overall satisfaction, an
engine needs to have enough low down power, or torque,
and still wind- up sweetly to the redline with
This phase of the test meant that no consideration was
given to conserving fuel. All cars were tested
independently for fuel consumption prior to the test
weekend, but hard-running often gives a very true
reflection of a car’s overall fuel consumption
winners and losers, and one had to take into account the
fact that these cars were being driven hard all weekend.
An interim fuel consumption figure was handed out to all
evaluators on day two and this is how the cars shaped
A6 3.0 TDi
407 2.2 Sport
3 1.6 Dynamic
Golf 2.0 TDi
Astra 1.8 Sport
The fuel consumption
category is a difficult one to call. One would expect a
diesel car, such as the Audi and the Golf, to score
well, and they did, the Golf more so than the Audi.
Being an automatic, the Audi was subjected to lots of
full-throttle driveaways to get it off the line. In day
to day use, one could expect an overall figure of
between eight and nine litres per hundred kilometers for
the diesel-engined Audi.
In Car Torque’s opinion the winner here was the Opel
at nine-comma-five-two litres per hundred, an impressive
figure for a one-comma-eight-litre car, given the
hammering the cars endured over the weekend.
Car Torque’s content editor and script writer Stuart
Johnston is a Car of the Year jury member. Stuart has
been a judge since the very first Car of the Year
competition in 1986.
His prediction for 2005? A close battle between the Audi
and the Golf, but for overall honours, the Volvo S40
2.4i is an unbeatable package.
Part 1 - How it works
Part 2 - the cars
Part 3 - more cars
Part 4 - and finally