Kia Motors Corp. has won big at the 2020 World Car Awards with the Telluride named ‘World Car of the Year’ and the Soul EV ‘World Urban Car.’ Both models proved their brand awareness and value. Kia became the first South Korean carmaker to win the World Car Awards. Here’s how cars get nominated for the World Car Awards.
The World Car Awards (WCA) is a program initiated by, organized by, and conducted by automotive journalists from all over the world. There are two more awards, ‘The North American Car and Truck of the Year’ and ‘European Car of the Year’, but the difference is that these two awards are local-based. The competition is judged by 86 prominent motoring journalists from 24 countries around the world, and the headquarter is located in Canada.
Along with World Car of the Year, awards for Urban Car, Luxury Car, Performance, Green Car, and Car Design have also been given.
Being nominated one of the 29 models, the Kia Telluride won the ‘2020 World Car of the Year’. The Kia Telluride is built in Georgia, United States, and is a model for North America. And the award would be highly likely to make it more competitive in the market.
World Car Awards announced the list of this year’s contenders at Frankfurt Motor Show back in September, and then picked the three finalists - Telluride, Mazda CX-30(compact SUV), and Mazda 3(compact sedan/hatchback) at LA motor show in November to run for the winner.
Among the eight parameters - performance, environment, occupant environment, market significance, value, emotional appeal, safety, and innovation - Telluride scored 758, scoring especially high in occupant environment, value, performance, and market significance.
Though its sales - 75,430 - proves how much people love this car, the World Car of the Year title represents another accolade for a vehicle that has garnered more than 70 awards in just one year since its introduction in 2019. The SUV has already been crowned North American Utility Vehicle of the Year and MotorTrend SUV of the Year 2020, among others - 2020 10 Best Cars by the auto magazine Car and Driver, and 2020 Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Awards.
The Kia Soul EV won the 2020 World Urban Car. It was named the ideal car for the city by the jury, combining zero-emission performance and impressive electric range with a compact body, bold design, and high levels of practicality. After the competition between the B-segment or smaller vehicles regardless of body type or powertrain, the Kia Soul EV proved itself to be more competitive than any other European compact hatchbacks or small EVs.
This year’s winner was chosen from three finalists - Soul EV, MINI Cooper SE, and Volkswagen T-Cross. Soul EV scored 751 from eight different parameters, and it was considered to be higher scoring in occupant environment, performance, environment, and innovation.
Speaking of powertrain, Soul EV comes with two battery pack options - 39.2 kWh and 64 kWh. According to the German auto magazine Auto Zeitung, "the Kia Soul EV redefines how much real-world range and family-friendly usability we should now be expecting from an electric vehicle towards the more affordable end of the price spectrum. The car’s 64kWh battery pack enables it to comfortably travel 452 km on a single charge(WLTP), making it the 'Best Affordable Electric Car', beating BMW i3s and Nissan Leaf e+. Its ride quality and longer range definitely was a catch.
Joo-sik Choi, Editor-in-Chief of AUTOCAR Korea, is one of the jurors of World Car Awards since the beginning, 2004. “Telluride is as ideal as a concept model.” he said, “for its decent user experience, and, to be simple, being the right SUV that people want. This is why it won.” And to be considered for the award, "a vehicle had to be in production and sold on at least two different continents in a designated period. At least 10,000 units of each nominated vehicle had to be produced annually to qualify," he explained.
“We picked ten finalists among the initial 29 vehicles this year. For clearer and fairer judgment, we test drive them during the LA motor show every November before online voting,” said Choi Joo-Sik.
“This accolade is testament to the talents and efforts of a worldwide team, who all strive to create desirable, high-quality and practical cars that drivers love,” he added, to elaborate how Telluride won and what the award represents.
He also mentioned that Soul EV won the 2020 World Urban Car for a longer range than its competitors, quick charging time, unique design, and dynamic performance. High-tech features such as advanced driver-assistance systems(ADAS) helped, too.
“The Kia Telluride winning this award reminds me of the movie Parasite winning the Academy Award.” he added, “now South Korean cars are no longer considered to be a fast follower. Now we became a stronger car brand, and we are now one of the global standards.”
HMG Journal Operation Teamgroup@hyundai.com
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