Kia Sorento and Kia Sportage named as finalists for the 2023 South African Car of the Year competition
  • Bold new Kia Sorento nominated as one of only two finalists in the premium category
  • Trend-setting Kia Sportage ready to lead by example in the hotly contested midsize category
  • South African Car of the Year competition is sponsored by Old Mutual Insure and presented by the South African Guild of Mobility Journalists (SAGMJ)

The South African Guild of Mobility Journalists (SAGMJ) today announced its 21 finalists for the 2023 South African Car of the Year competition (COTY), sponsored by Old Mutual Insure. Both the Kia Sorento and the Kia Sportage received a finalist nod from the 27-member COTY jury following the announcement of the long-listed semi-finalists in December 2022 as voted for by members of the SAGMJ.

The South African Car of the Year competition has an illustrious history dating back to 1986, with members of the SAGMJ crowing an annual winner deemed to showcase the pinnacle of innovation and excellence in the automotive industry. In recent history, the competition has also added a variety of categories in order to recognise segment-specific excellence and showcase the best of the best. These categories include Budget, Compact, Compact Family, Midsize, Premium, Adventure SUV, 4X4 Double Cab, Luxury, Performance and New Energy.

Go Boldly with the Kia Sorento

Powerful, progressive and versatile, the fourth generation of Kia’s flagship family SUV has raised the standards in the class for space, efficiency and quality. With its sharp exterior design, high-tech details and premium quality interior, the Sorento presents the ultimate balance between premium quality and value for money.

Originally launched in 2022 as a utilitarian all-terrain vehicle, the current, fourth-generation Sorento has been transformed into something altogether more desirable, and more capable in a variety of settings than most people would believe. Launched in South Africa towards the end of January 2022, The Sorento has since conquered not only the highways and byways of suburbia, but also some of the highest gravel passes in South Africa – first during the annual Seven7 Drive to raises awareness and funds for kids with cancer, and again with the #KiaTsamaya Sorento Adventure. It was also ranked highest for dependability in the Upper Midsize SUV category of the JD Power 2022 Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS) – with the Kia brand ranking as the overall leader amongst all major automotive brands.

Lead by example with the Kia Sportage

Designed from the ground up to be the ultimate urban SUV, the all-new, fifth-generation Kia Sportage is undoubtedly the flagbearer of the Kia brand’s pioneering DNA. The new model – launched in South Africa in September 2022 – features a bold, sporty design, bringing notable innovation and excitement to the popular compact SUV segment with its hearty blend of driver-centric design, advanced driver-assistance systems and state-of-the-art interior finishes.

The Sportage has always been a car of ‘firsts’ for the Kia brand. When it first debuted in the late 1990s, it set the tone for multiple automakers to pursue the design and development of what we know as an SUV today. It went on to become one of the first Kia models to receive multiple global design awards, a feat that was thought impossible for a Korean brand up until the launch of the third-generation model in 2010. And the awards are still rolling in globally as Sportage celebrates its 30th anniversary this year; further testimony that the Kia Sportage leads by example in every respect.

“That the Kia Sportage has evolved and transformed beyond imagination over the past three decades is undeniable. Like it’s Sorento sibling, it speaks not only to the evolution of the model itself, but also to that of the Kia brand as a whole. Our focus is entirely on what our customers need, going beyond exterior and interior styling and quality materials to the heart of the manufacturing process,” comments Stephen Crosse, Sales & Marketing Director for Kia South Africa.

“This is one of the many reasons why Kia has been the highest ranked mainstream brand in the annual J.D. Power Initial Quality Study for more than five years, and why as of 2022, Kia is also ranked highest in the J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study. Add to that our industry-leading Unlimited Kilometre, 5-year warranty, and it’s understandable why models like Sportage and Sorento are changing consumers’ perceptions about what is considered premium today.”

Commencement of the final round of scoring is imminent and will continue until the end of March 2023. Scoring will incorporate data from Lightstone for the competition’s automated scoring, based on market segment sales volumes and spec-adjusted competitor pricing. The competition also includes a public vote – The Motor Enthusiast’s Choice. Category winners and the overall winner of the 2023 Car of the Year competition will be announced on 1 June 2023.