– Beats Corolla, Almera
IT was a clash of the Asian Tigers automakers inside the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos last week as the Kia Rio defeated Toyota Corolla, Nissan Almera and Peugeot 301 to cart home the prestigious crown of Nigeria’s Car-Of-The-Year at the just concluded Nigeria Auto Journalists Awards.
In a keenly contested voting process that saw the Peugeot 301 and the aggressively marketed Corolla coming head-to-head, the Kia Rio came top anchored on a number of parameters, including but not restricted to its iniquitousness, reliability and resale value.
Speaking after the Award Ceremony, Chairman of the Guild of Motoring Correspondent, Frank Kintum, said the Nigeria Car of the Year competition has been around over the years and the strictest criteria apply to the finalists. “To appraise and select the winner, each of the listed cars were thoroughly test driven by the motoring journalists. To emerge tops, the car that will win the shield will have to tick all the boxes in terms of value for money, safety, innovation, technology and dynamics,” he said.
Kintum said during the test drive, a number of factors were used as parameters to select the eventual winner. These factors include, but not limited to each car’s value proposition in terms of road handling, stability, functionality, comfort, safety features, overall design, availability and accessibility of spare parts and product affordability.
The Naja Award which is the most respected automotive award in Nigeria held annually attracts a lot of excitement and suspense among stakeholders within and outside the industry. It is coming at a time when the Nigerian government’s automotive policy is gaining traction.