Double success for

Kia on global stage

Kia Telluride, 2020, front
Kia Soul, 2020, front
Porsche Taycan, 2020, front
Mazda3, 2020, side

A CAR that can't be bought in Britain has been named as World Car of the Year for 2020 in a contest that saw double glory for Korean brand Kia.

The Kia Telluride SUV was voted best by a panel of 86 jurors from around the world in the annual event - streamed on the Internet from New York because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Kia also saw its Soul EV crowned the best urban car while the Porsche Taycan electric SUV also picked up two honours scooping the World Performance Car and World Luxury Car titles.

The final category in the competition - the World Car Design of the Year - went to Mazda with its latest Mazda3.

The Telluride is primarily aimed at the North American market and it is built in the United States at Kia's factory in Georgia and named after a ski resort in Colorado.

At more than 17ft long it is a big SUV - almost two feet longer than Kia's largest model in the UK, the Sorento - and powered by a 3.8-litre V6 engine which develops 291 horsepower.

It was rewarded by the judging panel for its distinctive design and impressive practicality and since its introduction in 2019 it has already picked up more than 70 awards including the North American Utility Vehicle of the Year and the MotorTrend SUV of the Year.

An eight-seat 4x4 it is sold in many of Kia's global markets - but not Europe where such large SUVs are not in big demand.

The fully-electric Soul EV - which is on sale in the UK and available from £33,795 including the Government grant for low emission vehicles - was described by the judges as the ideal car for the city combining zero-emission performance and impressive electric range of up to 280 miles with a compact body, bold design, and high levels of practicality.

"Everyone at Kia is truly honored to receive not just one, but two awards from the World Car of the Year judging panel," said Thomas Schemera, executive vice president and head of product division at Kia Motors Corporation. "This is one of the hardest-fought competitions in the global automotive industry, proving that the Telluride and Soul EV are both truly outstanding vehicles.

"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."

The winners of the World Car Awards are decided by an independent international jury of highly-experienced and well-respected automotive journalists from 24 countries.

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