The sunny skies of Putrajaya served as our backdrop as nominated cars of the Autoworld Car of the Year Awards 2012 were put to the test by the awards’ panel of judges evaluating various aspects of their driving performance, practicality, and overall value for money. This third iteration of a prestigious car awards organized by Malaysia’s first automotive portal features the nomination of 31 cars competing against each other in their respective categories.
Since its introduction in 2010, the Autoworld Car of the Year Awards has stayed true to its objective to recognize and reward the best cars available to the Malaysian public. To ensure fair and unbiased evaluation, each nominated vehicle is comprehensively tested and driven by a panel of judges led by Autoworld.com.my editor Mr YS Khong in specifically plotted test drive routes that bring out the best and worst of each car.
For this year’s awards, the judging panel organized two drive events in Putrajaya where the relatively sparse crowd and traffic allowed the cars to be properly tested in a safe and isolated environment. From their designated ‘home base’ at the Putrajaya Maritime Centre, the judges took turns driving each car out in a loop route around our nation’s scenic capital before returning to swap cars at base.
In between test cars, the judges were often seen either exchanging notes with each other on the merits of the cars, or unwinding in light conversation with a cup of coffee in hand. Having judged together for three years running, the judges, majority of them from the close-knit automotive media fraternity, have developed a strong rapport with each other, and this is exemplified by the friendly banter they often exchange over the lunch tables or the walkie-talkie channels when driving in convoy.
After testing each car, each judge individually fills in a score sheet for that car where he or she gives marks to the car in various aspects that include design, value for money, specifications, performance, driving experience and so on. The judges’ scores are eventually tallied and combined with results of an online poll where readers of Autoworld.com.my voice out their choice of cars in the respective categories. Results of the poll make up 20% of the overall scoring mechanism.
The Autoworld Car of the Year Awards’ approach in combining the verdict of judges and readers is unique being an award that is decided by consensus of expert and public opinion. Although marks from the judges make up 80% of the overall scoring, past iterations of the awards have seen the outcome of certain categories determined by online voters, proof that the Autoworld Car Awards is representative of consumer opinion.
Voting for the Autoworld Car of the Year Awards 2012 is now open, the public are invited to log on to the awards microsite (link below) and cast their votes and have their say in the outcome of the awards.