Photo of Opel Astra courtesy of Opel.

Photo of Opel Astra courtesy of Opel.

The Opel Astra was named the 2017 South Africa Car of the Year by the South African Guild of Motoring Journalist.

The Astra and nine other contenders were judged by a jury made up of  automotive journalists in South Africa, according to Opel. In the competition, the Opel Astra amassed 2,370 points to claim first place. Meanwhile, the Audi A4 (2,339 points) and the VW Passat (2,337 points) placed in second and third, respectively.

The jury noted the Astra's driving behavior and handling qualities, according to the automaker.

“As a company, Opel has always been at the forefront of innovation, embracing new challenges by offering unique solutions to the motoring needs of a diverse customer base,” said Ian Nicholls, president and managing director, General Motors Sub-Saharan Africa.

This is the 13th time that the Astra has earned a national “Car of the Year” award, according to the company.

The Astra is one of the bestselling models in the Opel portfolio and has been ordered around 400,000 times since its market launch in 2015. The compact car is also available as the Holden Astra in New Zealand and Australia where it recently joined the Insignia VXR, Cascada and GTC in the Holden portfolio.