THE Kia Sorento family SUV has won the Carsguide Car Of The Year for 2015, defeating early favourites including European luxury models and the world’s best-selling sports-car.
The panel of seven judges voted unanimously for the seven-seat family SUV after exhaustive testing during the year, and a final shootout over two days which included thousands of kilometres of real-world driving.
Kia, which is the sister company to Hyundai, is just outside the Top 10 sellers list in Australia but this is the second win for the brand in five years after the Kia Rio hatch won in 2011.
“Kia have come on in leaps and bounds in recent years,” said Carsguide editor Richard Blackburn.
“They’ve lifted their interior design, they’ve used Australian engineers to tune their suspension for local conditions and their diesel engines are on par with some of the best for refinement.”
The Mazda MX-5 sports car, known for its fun-to-drive character and new low price, was an early favourite to take out the top prize.
So too was the just released Mercedes-Benz GLC SUV, which is based on the same underpinnings as last year’s award winner, the Mercedes C Class sedan.
The $49,990 Kia Sorento SLi diesel took out the award because it excelled among its direct rivals in terms of value, low running costs and its industry-leading seven-year factory-backed warranty.
When the final counting was done, the judges also determined that the Kia also stood out among European SUVs costing twice the price.
“The Sorento can hold its own in any company. If you’re still put off by the badge on the nose, it’s your loss,” said Mr Blackburn.
The other contenders for Carsguide Car Of The Year in 2015 included the new Volkswagen Passat sedan, Ford Ranger ute, Jaguar XE sedan, Mazda CX-3 city SUV, Audi RS3 hot hatch, Volvo XC90 luxury SUV, BMW X1 compact SUV, and the Holden Commodore SS-V Redline sedan.
Written by Joshua Dowling, National Motoring Editor, News Corp Australia Network
The Daily Telegraph