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Kia Telluride SUV wins World COTY

Kia, Porsche, Mazda come out on top in annual World Car Awards ceremony

9 Apr 2020

KIA has trumped all comers at the 2020 World Car Awards, with the eight-seat Telluride SUV taking home the World Car of the Year award, chosen from a list of 29 vehicles from across the world.


The big SUV was declared the winner by a panel of 86 automotive journalists from 24 countries, and beat out two other offerings from Mazda – the CX-30 small SUV, and the Mazda3 small hatch and sedan.


The judging panel began testing in September last year, with testing conducted across a range of different countries and time frames.


Sadly for Australian customers, the Telluride is not offered due to the SUV being left-hand-drive only, specifically for the North American market, with local customers having to choose between the Sorento large SUV or Carnival people mover for a three-row family car option.


The Telluride was praised for its comfort, specification levels and practicality, and marks the first time the South Korean car-maker has taken home the top gong.


Kia Motors Australia (KMAu) confirmed to GoAuto that there were still no plans to make the Telluride in right-hand drive, so local fans should not hold their breath at the possibility of it coming here.


Despite winning for the first time, Kia wasn’t done with just the Word Car of the Year award, also claiming the World Urban Car gong for its zero-emissions Soul EV compact SUV.


Beating out the Mini Electric and incoming Volkswagen T-Cross, the Soul EV was chosen out of eight total contenders.


The Soul EV is powered by a 64kWh battery pack that allows for an output of 150kW/395Nm from its electric motor and a claimed range of 484km.


KMAu told GoAuto it is constantly asking head office to bring the Soul EV Down Under, however with strong global demand that is likely to only increase with its win, it could be some time before the little city SUV arrives here.


Kia Motors Corporation executive vice president Thomas Schemera said the brand was honoured to take home a pair of awards.


“Everyone at Kia is truly honoured to receive not just one, but two awards from the World Car Awards judging panel,” he said.


“These accolades are testament to the talents and efforts of a worldwide team, who all strive to create desirable, high-quality and practical cars that drivers love.”


Although it just missed out on the top gong, the Mazda3 didn’t go home empty handed, winning the World Car Design of the Year ahead of the new Peugeot 208 light hatch and hotly anticipated Porsche Taycan.


Seven design experts including Ian Callum and Gordon Murray were chosen to create a shortlist and eventual winner for the prize, with the new-generation small hatch and sedan coming out on top.


The hype surrounding Porsche’s debut EV, the Taycan sedan, is set to keep growing after the zero-emissions German took out the remaining two categories – World Performance Car and World Luxury Car of the year.


Porsche has a strong track record in the World Performance Car category, having won in 2017, 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2006, but the brand already knew it was taking home silverware given the other two finalists were – wait for it – the Porsche 911 and Porsche 718 Spyder/Cayman GT4.


To win World Performance Car, the model must reach production of at least 2000 units annually, and be on sale on at least two continents.


Due to arrive locally in the fourth quarter of the year, the Taycan produces up to 500kW/850Nm from its all-electric powertrain.


The new EV contender also took home the World Luxury Car gong ahead of the 911 and Mercedes-Benz EQC mid-size SUV, proving it is both potent and lavish.


The World Car of the Year awards are now in their 16th year having been launched in 2004, and are administered by a non-profit organisation under the guidance of an executive committee.


Jaguar’s I-Pace EV took out the overall awards in 2019, preceded by the Volvo XC60 in 2018 and the Jaguar F-Pace in 2017.

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