For the second year in a row Kia’s facelifted Sorento has swept aside all opposition to take top honours for the Best SUV Over $40,000 in Drive’s annual Car Of The Year awards.
After seeing off a stellar field in 2012 the Sorento SLi diesel defended its crown against the best of the 2013 newcomers with the judges again praising the family-friendly SUV for its slick six-speed auto, composed road manners, comfortable ride and stylish looks _ inside and out.
Sorento also won points for its five-year warranty and five-year (15,000km intervals) capped price servicing plan.
“The Kia won its category last year, and is a deserving winner again in 2013,” said one judge.
Kia Motors Australia Chief Operating Officer Tony Barlow said the continued recognition by the Drive judges was another indication of the growth of Kia both in the product arena and in brand recognition and acceptance.
“There has been no slackening in Kia’s determination to offer the Australian buyer a premium in driving experience, safety and value,” Mr Barlow said. “The validation of these efforts comes in the growing brand acceptance and value and the recognition of media experts like the Drive team.”
Mr Barlow acknowledged that the various awards recognition for the Sorento, and other key models within the Kia family, was also a recognition of the diligent and ongoing ride and handling localisation program Kia Motors pioneered and remains committed to.
“Winning awards and the recognition it brings for the brand is very satisfying, but the ultimate reward is the knowledge that all our efforts on the Kia journey are bearing fruit,” Mr Barlow said.
Founded in 1944 as Kyungsung Precision Industry, Kia is currently Korea’s second largest car manufacturer and it’s oldest. From the company’s production of Korea’s first domestic bicycle, Kia moved on to producing Korea’s first motorcycle and the country’s first truck. Kia then became the first company in Korea to locally produce petrol car engines and the first domestic diesel engine. In 1979, Kia’s quality car production was recognised by the fact that two of the world’s leading European car makers chose the Korean car maker to build their ‘range topper’ models on their behalf – the Peugeot 604 and Fiat 132. But it was in the 1980s that Kia’s growth really took off. In 1986 Ford joined the list of car makers who looked to Kia to produce cars to be sold under their name, with the Festiva joining Ford’s line up first in the USA, then across the world, including in Australia for where Kia produced two generations of Ford’s entry-level car. Today, Kia produces a remarkably diverse range of vehicles sold in 190 countries around the world.
Alyson MacDonald, Press & Public Relations Executive, Kia Motors AustraliaP: 02-9701-1768